PURPOSE: TO DETERMINE: (i) the mammographic parenchymal patterns in Malaysian women and whether the breasts are dense on mammogram; (ii) the effect of age on breast density; (iii) the effect of parity on breast density; (iv) the difference in breast parenchymal patterns among the major races of women in Malaysia.
METHODS: This was a descriptive cross-sectional study of 1,784 patients (981 Malays, 571 Chinese, 214 Indians and 18 others) who had undergone mammography during the 1-year study period. Majority of women (41.7%) were aged between 51 and 60 years and majority (43%) had 3-4 children. The Tabar classification (Pattern I - V) was used to evaluate breast parenchymal patterns on mammogram. Tabar Pattern I was further divided into 3 sub-groups (Pattern IA, IB, and IC). The different patterns were then grouped into dense (IB, IC, IV, V) and not dense (IA, II, III) breasts. The SPSS package was used for statistical analysis.
RESULTS: Majority (59%) of Malaysian women had dense breasts (Pattern IB 29%, IC 20%, IV 5%, and V 5%) and 41% did not have dense breasts (Pattern IA 28%, II 6%, and III 7%). Age and parity were inversely related to breast density (p < 0.0001). Chinese women (65.7%) had the highest percentage of dense breasts (p = 0.69, odds ratio = 1.22), followed by the Indians (57.2%) and the Malays (50.5%).
CONCLUSION: Majority of women had dense breasts but Pattern IV, which has been associated with increased risk of breast cancer, was seen in only 5% of the women. The breast density reduced steadily with increasing age and parity. There was no statistically significant difference in breast density in the three main races.
KEYWORDS: Mammography; breast density; breast parenchymal patterns
OBJECTIVES: To compare the morbidity patterns in public and private primary care clinics; determine patients' reasons for encounter (RFE) and diagnoses using the ICPC-2, and compare ten commonest diagnoses and RFEs.
METHODS: A cross-sectional study on randomly selected clinics was conducted nationwide. Doctors completed the Patient Encounter Record (PER) for systematically selected encounters for a week.
RESULTS: Response rate was 82.0% (public clinic) and 33% (private clinic) with 4262 encounters and 7280 RFE. Overall, the three commonest disease categories encountered were respiratory (37.2%), general and unspecified (29.5%), and cardiovascular diseases (22.2%). Public and private clinics handled 27% versus 50% acute cases and 20.0% versus 3.1% chronic cases i.e. 33.7 and 5.6 chronic diseases per 100 RFE respectively.
CONCLUSION: Doctors in public clinics saw more chronic and complex diseases as well as pregnancy related complaints and follow-up cases while in private clinics more acute and minor illnesses were seen. Health services should be integrated and support given to co-manage chronic diseases in both sectors.
KEYWORDS: Malaysia; Primary practice; delivery of health care; morbidity pattern; reasons for encounter
In view of the alarming increase in the incidence of diabetes mellitus in Malaysia, we conducted a study to assess the awareness of complications of diabetes among the diabetics attending the peripheral clinics in Melaka. The study period was from January 2007 to December 2007. 351 patients were included in the study. 79.8% were aware of the complications of diabetes mellitus and 87.2% were aware that diabetes can affect the eyes. However, only 50% of the patients underwent an ophthalmological evaluation. Although awareness was good, the motivation to undergo the assessment was poor.
Study site: Klinik Kesihatan Peringgit, Klinik Kommunity Ayer Keroh, Melaka, Malaysia
This study aims to identify the patient-physician communication barriers in the primary healthcare setting in Pulau Penang, Malaysia. A cross-sectional study was designed to attain the objectives of the study. A self-developed 17-item study tool was used to explore respondent's perception about the barriers they have faced while communicating with physician. The reliability scale was applied and internal consistency of the study tool was estimated on the basis of Cronbach's alpha (α = 0.58). The data analysis was conducted using statistical package for social sciences students SPSS 13(®). Chi Square test was used to test the difference between proportions. A total of n = 69 patients responded to this survey. A higher participation was seen by the male respondents, 39 (56.5%). About 52 (76.5%) of the respondents were satisfied with the information provided by the physician. In an effort to identify the patient-physician barriers, a poor understanding among the patients and physician was revealed. 16 (23.5%) respondents disclosed lack of satisfaction from the information provided to them. Overall, it is seen that lack of physician-patient understanding was the main reason that result hindrance in the affective communication. Moreover, there is a possibility that a low level of health literacy among the patients and inability of the physician to affectively listen to patients may be the other factors that result in a deficient communication.
Minor ailments like sore throat, fever, cough and diarrhea can be relieved with over-the-counter (OTC) medications such as paracetamol or other traditional remedies, without seeking for consultation from general practitioners. Parents usually take the responsibility to come up with some kind of treatment for their children.
The Malaysian National Cancer Registry (NCR) report for the period 2003-2005 shows an incidence of stomach cancer of 2.2 for Malay, 11.3 for Chinese and 11.9 for Indian males per 100,000 population. Malay (1.3), Chinese (7.2) and Indian (7.2) women have rates lower than men. Malays in Peninsular Malaysia have five times less stomach cancer than Chinese and Indians. This racial difference is more marked than that noted in the Singapore cancer registry. Regional data from Kelantan has an even lower rate for Malays there (1.5 for males and 0.9 for females per 100,000 population). The incidence of Helicobacter pylori infection, a known risk factor for stomach cancer, is low among Malays.
AIM: This pilot study aimed to explore the perceptions of general medical practitioners (GPs) towards the professional training and roles of community pharmacists.
METHODS: A self-administered questionnaire was distributed to all private clinics (n=160) run by GPs in a northern state of Malaysia. The instrument contained questions to evaluate the practitioners' level of agreement using a 5-point Likert-type scale.
RESULTS: Of 160 GPs, 80 returned the questionnaire (response rate 50%). The respondents agreed that: GPs should consider the community pharmacists' recommendations whenever there is/are any problem(s) with the prescriptions given by them (46.3%); community pharmacists are the best healthcare professionals to educate patients about safe and appropriate use of medications (52.5%); the pharmacy profession had undergone a major metamorphosis from a product-oriented profession to a more patient-centred and outcome-oriented one (61.3%); if dispensing separation is implemented, they will work closely with the community pharmacists in monitoring patients' pharmacotherapeutic outcomes (77.5%).
CONCLUSION: The current findings suggest that GPs would support an extension of the role of the community pharmacists in number of activities of patient care activities such as medication counselling. Thus, suggesting potential collaborative care between GPs and community pharmacists towards patient care and the needs to develop and incorporate topics on inter-professional relationship in the current medical and pharmaceutical education curriculums.
KEYWORDS: Community pharmacists; general practitioners; perceptions; roles; training
BACKGROUND: Screening for psychiatric disorders in primary care can improve the detection rate and helps in preventing grave consequences of unrecognised and untreated psychiatric morbidity. This is relevant to the Malaysian setting where mental health care is now also being provided at primary care level. The aim of this paper is to report the prevalence of psychiatric illness in a semi-urban primary care setting in Malaysia using the screening tool Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ).
METHODS: This is a cross-sectional study carried out in a semi-urban primary healthcare centre located south of Kuala Lumpur. Systematic random sampling was carried out and a total of 267 subjects completed the PHQ during the study period.
RESULTS: The proportion of respondents who had at least one PHQ positive diagnosis was 24.7% and some respondents had more than one diagnosis. Diagnoses included depressive illness (n = 38, 14.4%), somatoform disorder (n = 32, 12.2%), panic and anxiety disorders (n = 17, 6.5%), binge eating disorder (n = 9, 3.4%) and alcohol abuse (n = 6, 2.3%). Younger age (18 to 29 years) and having a history of stressors in the previous four weeks were found to be significantly associated (p = 0.036 and p = 0.044 respectively) with PHQ positive scores.
CONCLUSION: These findings are broadly similar to the findings of studies done in other countries and are a useful guide to the probable prevalence of psychiatric morbidity in primary care in other similar settings in Malaysia.
This is a cross-sectional study investigating the profile of children with disability registered with the primary health care clinics in Malaysia. The purpose of the study was to assess the developmental stage of children with disability. Secondary data from the pilot project conducted by the Family Health Development Division, Ministry of Health Malaysia was used in this study. The study period was for six months from 1st August 2004 until 31st January 2005. A total of 900 disabled children were selected in this study. Schedule of Growing Scale (SGS) II was used for analysis. Results showed more boys than girls were affected with a ratio of 6:4. The mean total SGS score increases as the age of the child increased. The score was highest in delayed speech cases and lowest in cerebral palsy cases. The performance among children with delayed speech was the highest while children with cerebral palsy were the lowest. There was a statistically significant difference between the major ethnic groups in delayed speech and attention deficit hyperactive disorder.
Questionnaire: Denver Developmental Assessment Test II chart; DSST; Schedule of Growing Scale II; SGS
Routine examination for spinal deformity as part of a school health screening programme was introduced in Singapore in 1981. The three different ethnic groups included in the study provided figures for the prevalence of idiopathic scoliosis in an Asian population. A three-tier system of examination was used and a total of 110744 children in three age groups were studied. In those aged 6 to 7 years the prevalence was 0.12%. The prevalence in those aged 11 to 12 years was 1.7% for girls and 0.4% for boys, a ratio of 3.2 to 1. In girls aged 16 to 17 years the prevalence was 3.1%. In the latter two age groups there was a significantly higher prevalence in Chinese girls as compared with Malay and Indian girls. The optimal age for school screening seemed to be 11 to 12 years, but repeated examinations may be worthwhile.
The history of efforts to establish a cancer registry in Malaysia since 1961 is reviewed. In 1980, the staff of the Institute for Medical Research in Kuala Lumpur was authorized to develop an official registry that would combine the resources of the various university faculties, the hospitals, research institutes, and the Cancer Society. Special registries operate for oral precancerous conditions and for nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC). The topics of recent epidemiological studies include: a review of all cancers diagnosed at the University Hospital during 1972-74, the association of Epstein-Barr virus and NPC, social and environmental factors associated with NPC, oral cancers, and childhood cancers.
The Singapore Cancer Registry started operations on January 1, 1968. It is a population-based registry that seeks to obtain basic epidemiological and clinical data on all cases of cancer diagnosed in Singapore. The results presented pertain only to Singapore citizens and permanent residents and cover the period from 1973 to 1977. Of special interest are the cancer patterns of the main ethnic groups in Singapore. Generally, the Chinese (76% of total population) have significantly higher risks for cancer; the most prevalent sites are the nasopharynx, esophagus, stomach, liver, and lung. Within the Chinese group are also dialect group differences. The Malays (15% of population) have the lowest rates for most sites, whereas among the Indians (7% of population), mouth cancer is an important site for both sexes. All these variations provide useful clues in the search for etiological factors.
Two hundred and twelve of undescended testes were operated on in the Department of Surgery, Singapore General Hospital between the years 1974 through 1980. There was a 51.9% incidence of right undescended testis, 34.9% left undescended testis and 13.2% were bilateral. The method of treatment was surgical exploration with orchidopexy wherever technically feasible or orchidectomy if the testis was found to be severely hypoplastic. Of the total series, 42% were operated on before the age of 5 years. The oldest patient undergoing orchidopery was aged 40. Failure of orchidopexy to secure the scrotal position for the testis was noted in 14 cases. This was probably due to inadequate mobilisation at the first operation. There was no mortality and no significant morbidity following surgical treatment in this series.
The present study analysed the development of caries in 653 first permanent molars annually over a period of 5 years in children who were 7 years-old at baseline. The cumulative caries experience increased from 6.0% at baseline to 35.2% at the end of the study period. There were no appreciable differences in the annual incremental rate of caries experience among males and females. At baseline, the Malays and Indians have the highest and lowest caries experience respectively. At 12 years of age, the Chinese have the highest caries experience whilst the data for the Malays and Indians were comparable. The highest cumulative percentage increase in caries experience for the Malays, Chinese and Indians were between the ages of 7 to 8, 9 to 10 and 8 to 9 respectively while the average annual caries increment were 4.5%, 7.3% and 5.0% respectively.