MATERIALS AND METHODS: This was a single-center, cross-sectional study. A face-to-face interview guided by a structured questionnaire with cancer patients admitted to receive repeated cycles of chemotherapy was conducted. Information collected included chemotherapy-related side effects after last chemotherapy experience, the most worrisome side effects, the side effects overlooked by healthcare professionals and the preferred method, amount and source of receiving related information.
RESULTS: Of 99 patients recruited, 90 participated in this survey (response rate: 90.9%). The majority were in the age range of 45-64 years (73.3%) and female (93.3%). Seventy-five (83.3%) and seventy-one (78.9%) experienced nausea and vomiting, respectively. Both symptoms were selected as two of the most worrisome side effects (16.7% vs. 33.3%). Other common and worrisome side effects were hair loss and loss of appetite. Symptoms caused by peripheral neuropathies were perceived as the major symptoms being overlooked (6.7%). Most patients demanded information about side effects (60.0%) and they would like to receive as much information as possible (86.7%). Oral conversation (83.3%) remained as the preferred method and the clinical pharmacist was preferred by 46.7% of patients as the educator in this aspect.
CONCLUSIONS: The high prevalence of chemotherapy-related side effects among local patients is of concern. Findings of their perceptions and informational needs may serve as a valuable guide for clinical pharmacists to help in side effect management in Malaysia.
METHODS: The medical records of all patients who underwent breast lump excision under AAA in combination with electrical stimulation at traditional acupuncture points in 2016 were examined. All of them (n = 17) received electrostimulation (2-4 Hz) using single needles inserted at bilateral LI4 and PC6. They also underwent insertion of four acupuncture needles at the lump site, which were electrically stimulated at 30 Hz frequency.
RESULTS: All surgical procedures were successful with minimal use of analgesics and local anesthetic. The median pain score reported was 1/10 (interquartile range (IQR) = 2/10) at the first hour, and slightly increased to 2/10 (IQR = 2/10) between 24 and 48 h of the surgery. No major postoperative adverse events were documented, except for drowsiness in one case.
CONCLUSION: AAA was found to be generally safe and effective for anaesthesia and analgesia in breast lump excision. However, a large-scale randomized controlled study is required to verify the findings.
METHODS: Nine hundred and fifty-three pharmacists in the public service of Perak State, Malaysia, were invited for participation in an online survey that was conducted in October 2018. Based on a 5-point Likert scale, they were required to respond to 56 items, ranging from the perceived availability and importance of both motivators and training supports, the challenges to career advancement, to the awareness of the need for career planning. Their responses were subsequently dichotomized into 'agree'/'important' and 'disagree'/'not important'.
KEY FINDINGS: Four hundred and eighty pharmacists participated in the survey, yielding a response rate of 51.2%. More than half of them agreed with the inflexibility of working time and the absence of a performance-based salary and promotion scheme. More than 80% of them also highly valued the training in both pharmacy-related areas and management. Apart from inadequate training, no specialization in pharmacy as a profession and the absence of a performance-based promotion scheme were identified as the major challenges to their career advancement. As compared with the PRPs, the FRPs had greater concern over the absence of a performance-based salary and promotion scheme, flexible working time and periodic feedback for their work performance.
CONCLUSIONS: The findings indicate the inadequacy of the current system in providing recognition, training, feedback for work performance and a clear career pathway to pharmacists in the Malaysian public service, which warrants a change.
METHODS: All T2DM patients, who made at least one visit to any of the 58 public health clinics in Kedah during August 2016 and July 2017, were included in this study. The sample was selected from the National Diabetes Registry using the stratified random sampling method. The information on the demographic and clinical characteristics, laboratory findings and pharmacological treatment was gathered from medical records of patients. The differences in mean HbA1C levels across subgroups of each variable were tested using the general linear model. The evaluation of the appropriateness of treatment was performed based on the recommendations of the latest Clinical Practice Guidelines for T2DM.
RESULTS: The patients (n = 23,557) were mainly female (63.4%), of Malay ethnicity (80.1%) and middle-aged (62.2%), with a mean duration of T2DM of 6.2±7.16 years. Only 15.6% of them had a HbA1C level <6.5%, and 28.6% did not have their HbA1C levels tested over the 12-month period. Yet, the underutilization of combination treatment (≥2 antidiabetic agents) and insulin in the patients with a poor glycemic control was evident. Retinopathy emerged as the most prevalent diabetes-related complication (12.6%). Along with those with a longer duration of T2DM, the patients who were younger, female and of Indian ethnicity were found to generally have a poorer glycemic control.
CONCLUSION: This study discloses the suboptimal T2DM management at the primary care level in Kedah, which warrants a statewide plan for improvement.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: This was a retrospective cohort study undertaken at a public tertiary care centre in the state of Perak, Malaysia. Information of obese patients who underwent bariatric surgery was obtained from their medical records. The changes in the BMI, HbA1C, systolic and diastolic blood pressure (SBP and DBP), and lipid levels between three months before and after the surgery were assessed.
RESULTS: The patients (n=106) were mostly Malay (66.0%), had at least one comorbidity (61.3%), and had a mean age of 40.38±11.75 years. Following surgery, the BMI of the patients was found to reduce by 9.78±5.82kg/m2. For the patients who had diabetes (n=24) and hypertension (n=47), their mean HbA1C, SBP and DBP were also shown to reduce significantly by 2.02±2.13%, 17.19±16.97mmHg, and 11.45±12.63mmHg, respectively. Meanwhile, the mean total cholesterol, triglyceride and low-density lipoprotein levels of those who had dyslipidaemia (n=21) were, respectively, lowered by 0.91±1.18mmol/L, 0.69±1.11mmol/L and 0.47±0.52mmol/L.
CONCLUSION: The findings suggest that in addition to weight reduction, bariatric surgery is helpful in improving the diabetes, hypertension and dyslipidaemia control among obese patients. However, a large-scale trial with a control group is required to verify our findings.
METHODS: This was a registry-based, cross-sectional study. All the CRC cases reported by 18 hospitals to the National Cancer Patient Registry - Colorectal Cancer (NCPR-CC) between January 2007 and December 2017 were included in the analysis. The patients were categorized by age into the above-50 and under-50 groups. The changes in the age-standardized incidence and mortality rates of both the age groups were determined using the time-series analysis, and the impact of age on the mortality risk was assessed using the Cox regression analysis.
RESULTS: Of the 6,172 CRC patients enrolled in the NCPR-CC, 893 (14.5%) were in the under-50 group. As compared with their older counterparts, the patients in the under-50 group were more likely to be female, be of Malay ethnicity, be non-smokers, have a family history of CRC, and present late for treatment. The age-standardized incidence and mortality rates of CRC in the under-50 group remained stable over the years, while a decreasing trend was clearly seen in the mortality rates of CRC in the above-50 group (p=0.003). Nevertheless, the two age groups also did not differ in the mortality risk (adjusted hazards ratio: 1.10; 95% CI: 0.90, 1.36).
CONCLUSION: Young-onset CRC constituted a considerable proportion of CRC cases in Malaysia. However, in contrast with the findings of most studies, it demonstrated neither an uptrend in age-standardized incidence rates nor a higher mortality risk. Our findings suggest the need to upscale and lower the recommended age for CRC screening in Malaysia.
METHODS: The findings for a few outcome indicators, ranging from the iFOBT uptake to the CRC and polyp detection rates, were generated from the data contributed by 583 public health clinics between 2014 and 2018. The trends in their changes were also evaluated.
RESULTS: The iFOBT uptake constantly increased over the years (p < 0.001), totaling 2.29 % (n = 127,957) as at 2018. Nearly 10 % (n = 11,872) of the individuals screened had a positive test result. Of those who underwent colonoscopy (n = 6,491), 4.04 % (n = 262) and 13.93 % (n = 904) were found to have CRC and polyps, respectively.
CONCLUSION: An uptrend in the CRC screening uptake was witnessed following the introduction of the iFOBT in public health clinics.