1171 urban general practices in East and West Malaysia were compared regarding their service profiles and practice facilities. In general, practices in both parts put important emphasis on preventive health care. More practices in East Malaysia were providing hormone replacement therapy and sexually transmitted diseases services but less were providing intrapartum care, counselling services including sexual and marital counselling and problems associated with social deviance such as alcohol and drug abuse. Although most practices in East Malaysia were solo practices, they were more comprehensive in terms of the provision of practice facilities when compared to those in West Malaysia. A greater number of them had ultrasound facilities, peak flow meters, ECG machines, computers and blood biochemistry facilities.
Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) is stenosis or occlusion of peripheral arterial vessels by atherosclerotic plaque. It may present as intermittent claudication, rest pain and impotence. PAD of the lower limbs is the third most important site of atherosclerotic disease after coronary heart disease and cerebrovascular disease. Increasing age, family history, smoking, hypertension, dyslipidemia and more decisively diabetes are significant risk factors. PAD is a clinical condition that has often been neglected, underdiagnosed, undertreated and has a serious outcome. It may lead to nonhealing wounds, gangrene and amputation of the lower limbs. Hence, early identification of patients at risk of PAD and timely referral to the vascular surgeon in severe cases is crucial.
The aims of the study were to determine the prevalence of peripheral arterial disease (PAD) in diabetic patients and in different ethnic groups at a primary care setting, and to evaluate risk factors associated with PAD in these diabetic patients. A cross sectional study of 200 diabetic patients over 18 years old who attended a primary care clinic at a teaching hospital in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia was carried out. Face-to-face interviews were conducted using structured questionnaires for demographic characteristics and risk factors evaluation. Blood pressure measurements, assessment of peripheral neuropathy and ankle brachial pressures were performed. PAD was diagnosed by an ankle brachial pressure index (ABPI) of <0.9 on either leg. The overall prevalence of PAD was 16% in this diabetic population. The prevalence of PAD was 5.8% in Malays, 19.4% in Chinese and 19.8% in Indians. The prevalence of peripheral neuropathy was 41%, foot ulcer 9.5%, and gangrene 3.0%. The presence of foot ulcer was weakly associated with PAD (P=0.052). No significant relationships were found between age, gender, smoking status, duration of diabetes mellitus, hypertension, dyslipidaemia, and PAD. PAD is common in the diabetic population of this study.
Study site: primary care clinic, University Malaya Medical Centre (UMMC), Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Schizophrenia is one of the most incapacitating forms of mental disorder that runs a chronic and relapsing course. It typically starts in adolescence or early adulthood and can be life-long. It is more common in people with learning disabilities than in the general population. Its prodromal features include depression, anxiety, suspiciousness, social isolation and bizarre behaviour. It may result in significant functional, social and economic impairments. The care of patients with schizophrenia places a considerable burden on all carers including patient's family, health and social services. Treatment includes pharmacotherapy and psychosocial interventions. In this case report we describe a thirteen-year-old patient with schizophrenia who has a background history of mental retardation.
Study site: Family medicine clinic, Universiti Malaya Medical Centre (UMMC)
This case report illustrates a 40-year-old woman who presented with chest discomfort that was subsequently diagnosed to have metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome is a common condition associated with increased cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. As primary care providers, we should be detect this condition early, intervene and prevent appropriately before complications occur.
Stroke is the third leading cause of death, a major cause of disability in adults, and is frequently more disabling than fatal. With a decline in mortality from initial cerebral infarction and an increase in the life expectancy of the population, the number of patients with recurrent stroke and ensuing cardiovascular events will become greater. Thus it is important to find out those patients at high risk of stroke recurrence. This case report illustrates the process of recurrent stroke and the resulting disabilities and morbidities in a 42-year- old man. The role of integrated stroke rehabilitation programme is described.
Children with uncontrolled asthma have high risk of poor health outcomes. The aim of this study was to assess asthma control and care in primary school children with reported asthma. A total of 6441 primary school children were first screened for parent-reported physician-diagnosed asthma and 448 (8.9%) children were reported to have asthma. Of these, 311 (69.4%) parents
agreed to participate in assessment of asthma control study using Global Initiative for Asthma
2009 guidelines. Only 161 (51.8%) children were found to have good asthma control, 99 (31.8%) had partly controlled asthma, and 51 (16.4%) had uncontrolled asthma in the past one week. In the past 1 year, 157 (50.5%) children had asthma exacerbations, 21 (6.8%) had hospitalizations, and 104 (33.4%) had received emergency asthma care. Only 108 (34.7%) asthmatic children received regular follow-up care. Controller medications were underutilized (12.2%) compared to reliever medications (35.0%). Asthma control among primary school children was poor indicating suboptimal care.
Keywords: asthma, control, exacerbation, management, school childrenStudy site: primary schools, Port Dickson District, Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia
INTRODUCTION: Premature ejaculation (PE) is common. However, it has been underreported and undertreated.
AIMS: To determine the prevalence of PE and to investigate possible associated factors of PE.
METHODS: This cross-sectional study was conducted at a primary care clinic over a 3-month period in 2008. Men aged 18-70 years attending the clinic were recruited, and they completed self-administered questionnaires that included the Premature Ejaculation Diagnostic Tool (PEDT), International Index of Erectile Function, sociodemography, lifestyle, and medical illness. The operational definition of PE included PE and probable PE based on the PEDT.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE: Prevalence of PE.
RESULTS: A total of 207 men were recruited with a response rate of 93.2%. There were 97 (46.9%) Malay, 57 (27.5%) Chinese, and 53 (25.6%) Indian, and their mean age was 46.0 ± 12.7 years. The prevalence of PE was 40.6% (N = 82) (PE: 20.3%, probable PE: 20.3% using PEDT). A significant association was found between ethnicity and PE (Indian 49.1%, Malay 45.4%, and Chinese 24.6%; χ(2) = 8.564, d.f. = 2, P = 0.014). No significant association was found between age and PE. Multivariate analysis showed that erectile dysfunction (adjusted odds ratio [OR] 4.907, 95% confidence interval [CI] 2.271, 10.604), circumcision (adjusted OR 4.881, 95% CI 2.346, 10.153), sexual intercourse ≤5 times in 4 weeks (adjusted OR 3.733, 95% CI 1.847, 7.544), and Indian ethnicity (adjusted OR 3.323, 95% CI 1.489, 7.417) were predictors of PE.
CONCLUSION: PE might be frequent in men attending primary care clinics. We found that erectile dysfunction, circumcision, Indian ethnicity, and frequency of sexual intercourse of ≤5 times per month were associated with PE. These associations need further confirmation.
Study site: primary care clinic at the University Malaya Medical Center (UMMC), Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Objective: To determine the prevalence of dysmenorrhea, its impact, and the treatment-seeking behavior of adolescent Asian girls.
Method: A cross-sectional study with 1092 girls from 15 public secondary schools and 3 ethnic groups in the Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Results: Overall, 74.5% of the girls who had reached menarche had dysmenorrhea; 51.7% of these girls reported that it affected their concentration in class; 50.2% that it restricted their social activities; 21.5% that it caused them to miss school; and 12.0% that it caused poor school performance. Ethnicity and form at school were significantly associated with the
poor concentration, absenteeism, and restriction of social and recreational activities attributed to dysmenorrhea. Only 12.0% had consulted a physician, and 53.3% did nothing about their conditions. There were ethnic differences in the prevalence, impact, and management of dysmenorrhea.
Conclusion: There is a need for culture-specific education regarding menstruation-related conditions in the school curriculum.
INTRODUCTION: routine rubella antibody screening is not done for antenatal mothers in community health clinics in Malaysia. However, congenital rubella syndrome has persisted with its associated health burden.
OBJECTIVES: to determine the prevalence of rubella susceptibility among pregnant mothers and its associated risk factors.
METHODOLOGY: a cross-sectional study was carried out in the Petaling district, Selangor, Malaysia, where 500 pregnant mothers were recruited, and face-to-face interviews were conducted. Rubella IgG tests were performed.
RESULTS: the prevalence of rubella susceptibility among pregnant mothers was 11.4%. Using logistic regression, a history of not having received rubella vaccination or having unknown rubella vaccination status was found to be a significant predictor for mothers to be rubella susceptible (odds ratio = 2.691; 95% confidence interval = 1.539-4.207).
CONCLUSIONS: routine rubella IgG screening tests need to be offered to all antenatal mothers in view of the high prevalence found.
Study site: Antenatal clinics (klinik kesihatan), Petaling, Selangor, Malaysia
This case illustrates an 80-year-old lady who presented with acute low back pain and finally succumbed from complications of osteoporotic vertebral fracture. Among the contributing factors are delayed diagnosis and a lack of continuity of care. It reminds the practitioners of the importance to look out for red flag symptoms and to have a high index of suspicion for vertebral fracture in high risk patients presenting with low back pain.
Study site: Accident and Emergency Unit, University Malaya Medical Centre (UMMC), Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
70 patients presented with acute asthma exacerbation requiring nebulised bronchodilator treatment at the emergency department of a teaching hospital in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, were interviewed over a two-week period in July 2001. The results showed that 45 (64%) patients had not been educated on the nature of asthma; 30 (43%) had not been advised on preventive measures or avoidance of triggers; 54 (77%) were not advised about the medications used and their side effects; 42 (60%) patients did not know the difference between reliever and preventive medications; 37 (53%) were unable to recognize features of worsening asthma and 68 (97%) were not told about the danger of non-prescribed self-medication or traditional medications. Only six (9%) patients were using peak flow meters and were taught self-management plans. The multiple regression results suggest that patients who were followed up at teaching hospital based clinics were better educated on asthma. In conclusion, asthmatic patients are still not educated well about their disease. Health care providers need to put more emphasis on asthma education so that the number of emergency room visits can be reduced.
Study site: Emergency department, University Malaya Medical Centre, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
This study described the practice profile of an open access exercise stress test (EST) service to the primary care physicians at a teaching hospital in 2000. We performed a retrospective review of all ESTs ordered and conducted by the primary care physicians. A total of 145 ESTs were conducted, of which 80.7% were referred for assessment of chest pain. Proportions of positive, negative, uninterpretable and inconclusive ESTs were: 22.1%, 52.8%, 18.1% and 6.9%. Typical chest pain was independently associated with a positive EST in this study (p = 0.008, OR 5.50, 95% CI 1.56-19.37). Although referral to the open access EST service seemed appropriate, there is a need to reduce the number of uninterpretable and inconclusive results.
Seventy patients presented with acute asthma at the emergency department of the University of Malaya Medical Centre, Kuala Lumpur were recruited over a two-week period in July 2001. Fifty-one (73%) patients belonged to the poorly controlled group. Fifty-seven (81%) patients were using inhaled salbutamol but 21 (30%) were still using oral short acting salbutamol. Only 32 (46%) patients used inhaled corticosteroids. In the poorly controlled group, 22 (43.1%) patients were not on regular inhaled corticosteroids, 35 (68.6%) were not receiving "add-on" medication and 18 (35%) did not have regular follow up. The emergency department should implement a protocol for asthma management and follow up to achieve better long term patient care.
The Australian and Malaysian systems of general practice were examined and compared. The issues of similarity and difference identified are discussed in this paper. Quality clinical practice and the importance of compulsory vocational training prior to entry into general practice and continuing professional development is one important area. A move towards preventive health care and chronic disease management was observed in both countries. Practice incentive programmes to support such initiatives as improved rates of immunisation and cervical smear testing and the implementation of information technology and information management systems need careful implementation. The Medicare system used in Australia may not be appropriate for general practitioners in Malaysia and, if used, a pharmaceutical benefit scheme would also need to be established. In both countries the corporatisation of medical practice is causing concern for the medical profession. Rural and aboriginal health issues remain important in both countries. Graduate medical student entry is an attractive option but workforce requirements mean that medical education will need individual tailoring for each country. Incorporating nurses into primary health care may provide benefits such as cost savings. The integration model of community centres in Malaysia involving doctors, nurses and allied health professionals, such as physiotherapists, in a single location deserves further examination.
Identification of pregnant women susceptible to rubella is important as vaccination can be given postpartum to prevent future risks of congenital rubella syndrome. However, in Malaysia, rubella antibody screening is not offered routinely to pregnant women in public funded health clinics due to cost constraint. Instead, a history of rubella vaccination is asked to be provided to establish the women's risk for rubella infection. The usefulness of this history, however, is not established. Thus, this paper aimed to determine the usefulness of a history of rubella vaccination in determining rubella susceptibility in pregnant women.