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  1. Barman A
    Ann Acad Med Singap, 2008 Nov;37(11):957-63.
    PMID: 19082204
    INTRODUCTION: Setting, maintaining and re-evaluation of assessment standard periodically are important issues in medical education. The cut-off scores are often "pulled from the air" or set to an arbitrary percentage. A large number of methods/procedures used to set standard or cut score are described in literature. There is a high degree of uncertainty in performance standard set by using these methods. Standards set using the existing methods reflect the subjective judgment of the standard setters. This review is not to describe the existing standard setting methods/procedures but to narrate the validity, reliability, feasibility and legal issues relating to standard setting.

    MATERIALS AND METHODS: This review is on some of the issues in standard setting based on the published articles of educational assessment researchers.

    RESULTS: Standard or cut-off score should be to determine whether the examinee attained the requirement to be certified competent. There is no perfect method to determine cut score on a test and none is agreed upon as the best method. Setting standard is not an exact science. Legitimacy of the standard is supported when performance standard is linked to the requirement of practice. Test-curriculum alignment and content validity are important for most educational test validity arguments.

    CONCLUSION: Representative percentage of must-know learning objectives in the curriculum may be the basis of test items and pass/fail marks. Practice analysis may help in identifying the must-know areas of curriculum. Cut score set by this procedure may give the credibility, validity, defensibility and comparability of the standard. Constructing the test items by subject experts and vetted by multi-disciplinary faculty members may ensure the reliability of the test as well as the standard.

  2. Barman A
    Ann Acad Med Singap, 2005 Sep;34(8):478-82.
    PMID: 16205824
    INTRODUCTION: The main aim of medical education is to foster the development of clinical competence in students at all levels. Differences in experiences, methods of instruction and ambiguous forms of assessment are obstacles to attaining this goal. Dissatisfaction with the conventional methods of clinical assessment on the part of teachers and students led assessors to search for appropriate alternatives and in 1975, Harden and his colleagues introduced the objective structured clinical examination (OSCE). It is nearly impossible to have a test that satisfies all the criteria of a good test. Sometimes, a compromise has to be made between the available resources (in terms of man, money and time), and the method and quality of assessment (in terms of reliability, validity, objectivity and practicability).

    METHODS: This critique on the OSCE is based on the published findings of researchers from its inception in 1975 to 2004.

    RESULTS: The reliability, validity, objectivity and practicability or feasibility of this examination are based on the number of stations, construction of stations, method of scoring (checklists and/ or global scoring) and number of students assessed. For a comprehensive assessment of clinical competence, other methods should be used in conjunction with the OSCE.

    CONCLUSION: The OSCE can be a reasonably reliable, valid and objective method of assessment, but its main drawback is that it is resource-intensive.

  3. Ullah A, Barman A, Ahmed I, Salam A
    J Obstet Gynaecol, 2012 Jan;32(1):37-41.
    PMID: 22185534 DOI: 10.3109/01443615.2011.601697
    In Bangladesh, a number of screening tests for asymptomatic bacteriuria in pregnancy are in practice. The objective of this study was to assess the validity and cost-effectiveness of these screening tests. A total of 600 apparently healthy pregnant mothers were included in this study. The validity of the screening tests was calculated against the urine culture as 'gold standard'. Incremental cost-effective ratio between the screening test methods and the least costly method (microscopic urine analysis) was calculated. Bacterial count/oil-immersion field in Gram-stained smear of urine was the most sensitive (91.7%) and specific (97.2%). Incremental cost per additional positive cases of bacterial count, leukocyte esterase and combination of leukocyte esterase and nitrite were US$3, US$25 and US$23, respectively. Gram staining may be the alternative approach to traditional routine urinalysis for the screening of asymptomatic bacteriuria during pregnancy in clinical practice in Bangladesh, as well as other developing countries.
  4. Barman A, Jaafar R, Ismail NM
    Malays J Med Sci, 2006 Jan;13(1):63-7.
    PMID: 22589593
    The implementation of problem-based learning started in 1969 and has spread since then throughout different parts of the world with variations in its implementation. In spite of its growth and advantages, there is continuing debate about its effectiveness over the conventional teaching learning methods. In the School of Dental Sciences (SDS), Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM), the Doctor of Dental Sciences (DDS) program follows a 5-year integrated curriculum. Basically the curriculum is problem-based and community oriented. This study was to explore the perception of DDS students about PBL sessions. This questionnaires-based cross sectional descriptive study were carried out on all the 110 students of the SDS who completed their second year of the course and participated in PBL sessions. Ninety five (86%) students responded to the questionnaires. Dental students found PBL session interesting and wanted to maintain PBL from the beginning of year 2 up to the end of year 3. Most students reported their participation in discussion during PBL sessions but the level of participation varied. Some of them worked hard to prepare themselves for discussion while others were relatively passive. PBL helped them with in-depth understanding of certain topics and link their basic science knowledge to clinical classes. They felt that guidance from subject specialists and well-prepared facilitators of the sessions were beneficial. The students believed that repetition of triggers from year to year discouraged their active search for learning issues. Majority of the students were undecided or disagreed about the availability of adequate learning resources Most of the students were undecided or disagreed about the availability of adequate learning resources for their self-study. Reviewing and renewing the PBL triggers, providing guidelines for searching for resource materials and briefing the students and facilitators about the philosophy and principles of PBL may make the PBL sessions more beneficial.
  5. Ullah A, Barman A, Haque J, Khanum M, Bari I
    Paediatr Perinat Epidemiol, 2009 Nov;23(6):542-7.
    PMID: 19840290 DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-3016.2009.01063.x
    It has been suggested that a birthweight limit of 2.5 kg should not be regarded as valid for all populations as the cut-off point of low-weight births because of demographic, genetic and environmental differences. Countries often choose alternative cut-off values for low birthweight for clinical purposes. Bangladesh also needs to choose a convenient cut-off value for low birthweight. A total of 770 live singleton full-term normal newborns were included in this study by stratified sampling; birthweight was measured using the Detecto-type baby weight machine. Newborns were followed up to the end of their first week of life. For data collection a pretested structured questionnaire and an Apgar Score estimating checklist were used. Chi-square test was applied to assess the association of different birthweight strata and neonatal health outcomes. Multiple logistic regression analyses were carried out to identify the independent effects of different levels of birthweight on early neonatal health. The neonates having birthweight < or = 2 kg had a significantly higher risk of early neonatal mortality and morbidity than the higher level birthweight group. Birth asphyxia was the commonest cause of early neonatal mortality and morbidity. Borderline birthweight (>2 to <2.5 kg) neonates experienced the same mortality and morbidity rates as the normal birthweight neonates during their early neonatal life. Birthweight < or = 2 kg may be one of the criteria for admission to a neonatal intensive care unit whereas more than 2 kg may not require admission unless otherwise necessary.
  6. Farook TH, Barman A, Abdullah JY, Jamayet NB
    J Prosthodont, 2021 Jun;30(5):420-429.
    PMID: 33200429 DOI: 10.1111/jopr.13286
    PURPOSE: Mesh optimization reduces the texture quality of 3D models in order to reduce storage file size and computational load on a personal computer. This study aims to explore mesh optimization using open source (free) software in the context of prosthodontic application.

    MATERIALS AND METHODS: An auricular prosthesis, a complete denture, and anterior and posterior crowns were constructed using conventional methods and laser scanned to create computerized 3D meshes. The meshes were optimized independently by four computer-aided design software (Meshmixer, Meshlab, Blender, and SculptGL) to 100%, 90%, 75%, 50%, and 25% levels of original file size. Upon optimization, the following parameters were virtually evaluated and compared; mesh vertices, file size, mesh surface area (SA), mesh volume (V), interpoint discrepancies (geometric similarity based on virtual point overlapping), and spatial similarity (volumetric similarity based on shape overlapping). The influence of software and optimization on surface area and volume of each prosthesis was evaluated independently using multiple linear regression.

    RESULTS: There were clear observable differences in vertices, file size, surface area, and volume. The choice of software significantly influenced the overall virtual parameters of auricular prosthesis [SA: F(4,15) = 12.93, R2 = 0.67, p < 0.001. V: F(4,15) = 9.33, R2 = 0.64, p < 0.001] and complete denture [SA: F(4,15) = 10.81, R2 = 0.67, p < 0.001. V: F(4,15) = 3.50, R2 = 0.34, p = 0.030] across optimization levels. Interpoint discrepancies were however limited to <0.1mm and volumetric similarity was >97%.

    CONCLUSION: Open-source mesh optimization of smaller dental prostheses in this study produced minimal loss of geometric and volumetric details. SculptGL models were most influenced by the amount of optimization performed.

  7. Beh YH, Farook TH, Jamayet NB, Dudley J, Rashid F, Barman A, et al.
    Cleft Palate Craniofac J, 2021 03;58(3):386-390.
    PMID: 32808548 DOI: 10.1177/1055665620950074
    OBJECTIVE: The virtual cone beam computed tomography-derived 3-dimensional model was compared with the scanned conventional model used in the fabrication of a palatal obturator for a patient with a large palatal defect.

    DESIGN: A digitally derived 3-dimensional maxillary model incorporating the palatal defect was generated from the patient's existing cone beam computerized tomography data and compared with the scanned cast from the conventional impression for linear dimensions, area, and volume. The digitally derived cast was 3-dimensionally printed and the obturator fabricated using traditional techniques. Similarly, an obturator was fabricated from the conventional cast and the fit of both final obturator bulbs were compared in vivo.

    RESULTS: The digitally derived model produced more accurate volumes and surface areas within the defect. The defect margins and peripheries were overestimated which was reflected clinically.

    CONCLUSION: The digitally derived model provided advantages in the fabrication of the palatal obturator; however, further clinical research is required to refine consistency.

  8. Barman A, Rashid F, Farook TH, Jamayet NB, Dudley J, Yhaya MFB, et al.
    Polymers (Basel), 2020 Jul 12;12(7).
    PMID: 32664615 DOI: 10.3390/polym12071536
    Although numerous studies have demonstrated the benefits of incorporating filler particles into maxillofacial silicone elastomer (MFPSE), a review of the types, concentrations and effectiveness of the particles themselves was lacking. The purpose of this systematic review and meta-analysis was to review the effect of different types of filler particles on the mechanical properties of MFPSE. The properties in question were (1) tensile strength, (2) tear strength, (3) hardness, and (4) elongation at break. The findings of this study can assist operators, technicians and clinicians in making relevant decisions regarding which type of fillers to incorporate based on their needs. The systematic review was performed according to Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines. A total of 26 original articles from 1970 to 2019 were selected from the databases, based on predefined eligibility criteria by two reviewers. The meta-analyses of nine papers were carried out by extracting data from the systematic review based on scoring criteria and processed using Cochrane Review Manager 5.3. Overall, there were significant differences favoring filler particles when incorporated into MFPSE. Nano fillers (69.23% of all studies) demonstrated superior comparative outcomes for tensile strength (P < 0.0001), tear strength (P < 0.00001), hardness (P < 0.00001) and elongation at break (P < 0.00001) when compared to micro fillers (30.76% of all studies). Micro fillers demonstrated inconsistent outcomes in mechanical properties, and meta-analysis of elongation at break argued against (P < 0.01) their use. Current findings suggest that 1.5% ZrSiO4, 3% SiO2, 1.5% Y2O3, 2-6% TiO2, 2-2.5% ZnO, 2-2.5% CeO2, 0.5% TiSiO4 and 1% Ag-Zn Zeolite can be used to reinforce MFPSE, and help the materials better withstand mechanical degradation.
  9. Al-Oulabi A, Al Rawas M, Farook TH, Rashid F, Barman A, Jamayet NB, et al.
    Work, 2021 Jun 25.
    PMID: 34180457 DOI: 10.3233/WOR-213519
    BACKGROUND: Two patients received ocular injuries from rusted metallic projectiles at their industrial workplaces. Said injuries resulted in the loss of their eyes by evisceration surgeries to prevent fatal infections.

    CASE DESCRIPTION: The first case, a man in his twenties, received a stock conformer immediately after surgery and started prosthetic therapy within 2 months. The second case, a man in his forties, started prosthetic therapy after 10 years. Definitive custom ocular prostheses were fabricated and relined according to conventional protocol.

    RESULTS: On issue of the prosthesis, there was adequate retention, aesthetics and stability to extra-ocular movements and treatment was considered successful for both cases. However, follow-ups showed noticeable prosthetic eye movements for case 1 which, to some extent mimicked the physiologic movement of its fellow natural eye. Case 1 adjusted to his prosthesis better while case 2 was still adjusting with little to no physiologic movement.

    CONCLUSION: Prosthetic rehabilitation should be started as early as possible to obtain optimum rehabilitative results.

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