Displaying all 9 publications

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  1. Cheong WL, Mohan D, Warren N, Reidpath DD
    J Palliat Med, 2019 May;22(5):545-552.
    PMID: 30570416 DOI: 10.1089/jpm.2018.0447
    Background:
    The state of palliative care research is closely linked to the development of palliative care services in a country or region.
    Objective:
    To systematically review the current state of palliative care research in the Asia Pacific region and analyze its relationship with the performance of each country in the region on the Economist Intelligence Unit's 2015 Quality of Death Index.
    Design:
    Systematic review and bibliographic analysis in accordance with the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analysis Protocol 2015 (PRISMA-P).
    Data Sources:
    The PubMed/MEDLINE, EMBASE, SCOPUS, CINAHL, and PsychiNFO databases were searched on February 4, 2018.
    Results:
    One thousand six hundred sixty-seven articles were reviewed. Eighteen out of 32 countries in the region published research. Around 74.15% (1236) of the articles were produced by high-income countries. Research output (articles per 1 m population) was closely linked to country performance on the Economist Intelligence Unit's 2015 Quality of Death Index (adjusted R2= 0.85). Palliative care research in the region is overwhelmingly focused on cancer (80.13% of articles reviewed). The most common themes of research were "palliative care service (24.45%)" and "clinical" (15.38%).
    Conclusions:
    Palliative care research in the region is growing but remains largely centered on the high-income countries, with many low- and middle-income countries having little published research output. Much work is required to drive research in these countries to generate the evidence required for the development of palliative care services. The emphasis on cancer in research also indicates that the needs of patients suffering from noncancer-related diseases may be neglected.
  2. Cheong WL, Mohan D, Warren N, Reidpath DD
    Front Neurol, 2018;9:432.
    PMID: 29937752 DOI: 10.3389/fneur.2018.00432
    Background: Multiple sclerosis is thought to be relatively uncommon in the Asia Pacific region with prevalence estimated between 0 and 20 per 100,000. There is reason to doubt these estimates due to the lack of data from many countries and the growing evidence of variability in prevalence across small geographic areas. This study was conducted to systematically review the population prevalence, incidence, mortality and disability progression estimates of MS within the Asia Pacific region. Methods: The systematic review was conducted on articles from 1985 till 31st July 2017 within the PubMed/MEDLINE, EMBASE, SCOPUS, and The Cochrane Library databases. The review included articles that were population-based studies conducted on patients with MS in the Asia Pacific region that reported either incidence, prevalence, mortality, or disease progression. Hospital-based studies and non-research articles were excluded to ensure that only information representative of the population was included for analysis. Data appraisal and extraction was done by independent reviewers. This review was registered with PROSPERO (ID: CRD42017082760). Findings: Of the 2,757 articles found, 16 studies were included. Information on 6 (18.75%) of 32 Asia Pacific countries was found, with data representing 8% of the total population. Prevalence estimates were available for 6 countries while estimates for incidence (3 countries), mortality (4 countries), and disease progression (2 countries) were limited. Interpretation: The lack of epidemiological data available in the Asia Pacific region creates a blind spot in the surveillance of MS which obscures the true burden of MS, causing patients to struggle to receive the resources and funding that they need.
  3. Griffiths AW, Cheong WL, Saw PS, Parveen S
    BMC Med Educ, 2020 Mar 20;20(1):82.
    PMID: 32192471 DOI: 10.1186/s12909-020-1972-5
    BACKGROUND: One of the major challenges worldwide is the stigma associated with dementia. There is limited dementia awareness within Malaysian communities, including levels of confusion regarding the differences between dementia and the usual ageing progress, which can lead to delays in support seeking. The need for additional training and education for healthcare professionals has been highlighted. The present study aimed to evaluate the benefits of a one-hour dementia education session (Dementia Detectives workshop) for pharmacy and medicine undergraduate students at a Malaysian university.

    METHODS: Participants attended the workshop and completed pre- (Time 1) and post-workshop (Time 2) questionnaires consisting of validated measures exploring attitudes towards dementia and older people more broadly.

    RESULTS: A total of 97 students were recruited. Attitudes towards people with dementia showed significant positive changes between Time 1 and Time 2, whereas no differences were found for attitudes towards older people.

    CONCLUSIONS: As medical and pharmacy students develop theoretical knowledge, practical skills and professional attitudes during their undergraduate studies, it is important for students to also learn about the humanistic side of diseases and conditions through workshops such as the one presented here. Further research should now be conducted to consider how Dementia Detectives can be delivered to non-healthcare students and what the barriers and facilitators to wider delivery are.

  4. Cheong WL, Mohan D, Warren N, Reidpath DD
    Mult Scler Relat Disord, 2019 Oct;35:86-91.
    PMID: 31357123 DOI: 10.1016/j.msard.2019.07.009
    BACKGROUND: Despite the global consensus on the importance of palliative care for patients with multiple sclerosis (MS), many patients in developing countries do not receive palliative care. Improving access to palliative care for MS requires a contextual understanding of how palliative care is perceived by patients and health professionals, the existing care pathways, and barriers to the provision of palliative care.

    OBJECTIVE: This study aims to examine and contrast the perceptions of MS patients, neurologists, and palliative care physicians towards providing palliative care for patients with MS in Malaysia.

    METHODS: 12 MS patients, 5 neurologists, and 5 palliative care physicians participated in this qualitative study. Each participant took part in a semi-structured interview. The interviews were transcribed verbatim, and analysed using an iterative thematic analysis approach.

    RESULTS: Patients and neurologists mostly associated palliative care with the end-of-life and struggled to understand the need for palliative care in MS. Another barrier was the lack of understanding about the palliative care needs of MS patients. Palliative care physicians also identified the scarcity of resources and their lack of experience with MS as barriers. The current referral-based care pathway itself was found to be a barrier to the provision of palliative care.

    CONCLUSIONS: MS patients in Malaysia face several barriers in accessing palliative care. Overcoming these barriers will require improving the shared understanding of palliative care and its role in MS. The existing care pathway also needs to be reformed to ensure that it improves access to palliative care for MS patients.

  5. Cheong WL, Mohan D, Warren N, Reidpath DD
    Disabil Rehabil, 2019 Nov 26.
    PMID: 31769306 DOI: 10.1080/09638288.2019.1695000
    Background: The needs of patients with multiple sclerosis have been well-studied in high-income, high-prevalence countries but few studies have been based in low- and middle-income countries where resources are relatively scarce. As such, little is known about the needs of patients living in these countries.Objective: The study seeks to develop an understanding of the needs of patients with multiple sclerosis living in Malaysia in order to generate insights and contribute to a global database of patients' experienceMethod: 12 patients with multiple sclerosis participated in this qualitative study and took part in a semi-structured interview. The interviews were transcribed and analysed using an iterative thematic analysis approach.Results: The experiences, challenges and needs of the patients were reported. Five themes were developed (Daily living, Financial, Emotional and psychological, Healthcare, and Family). These predominantly revolved around the struggles of coping and adapting to the symptoms and disabilities imposed by multiple sclerosis, their heavy reliance on personal finances to cope with the increased costs of living for themselves and their families, as well as the limited healthcare services and treatments available to help them to manage the physical and emotional symptoms of multiple sclerosis.Conclusion: Patients with multiple sclerosis in Malaysia have complex needs that are neglected due perceived lack of importance of the disease and the poor understanding of multiple sclerosis in general. Patients rely heavily on their finances to improve their quality of life. This perpetuates health inequities and reform of the national health financing system is needed to provide patients with the healthcare and support they need.Implications for rehabilitationPatients with multiple sclerosis in Malaysia prioritize being able to cope and adapt to their disabilities in order to continue performing their activities of daily living.There is a need to increase the availability and accessibility of healthcare professionals that are experienced with the management of multiple sclerosis.Healthcare professionals need to improve their understanding of the patients' needs and what they consider to be important in order to provide therapy that is effective and relevant.Patients also require financial support to help them with the increased costs of living associated with MS as well as the costs of healthcare services such as physiotherapy and rehabilitation.
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