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  1. Gan GG, Ng DLC, Leong YC
    Singapore Med J, 2021 Jan 21.
    PMID: 33472336 DOI: 10.11622/smedj.2021003
    INTRODUCTION: Although erectile dysfunction (ED) is one of known long-term complications among male lymphoma survivors, it is not commonly reported, particularly in Southeast Asia. This study aimed to determine the prevalence of ED in lymphoma survivors in Malaysia and its association with anxiety and depression, and effects on quality of life.

    METHODS: This was a cross-sectional study conducted at a tertiary hospital in Malaysia. Patients were all male lymphoma survivors. The self-administered International Index of Erectile Function questionnaire was used to screen for ED. The Hospital Anxiety and Depression Score questionnaire was used to assess for anxiety and depression, and quality of life was assessed using the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer quality of life questionnaire.

    RESULTS: Overall, 106 patients were recruited. Mean age was 55.7 years, with 61.3% of patients aged above 50 years. Only 67.0% of patients were sexually active and 81.7% of these reported the presence of ED, with only 4.2% having severe ED. Prevalence of ED among younger patients (age ≤ 50 years old) was 64.5%.The most common reason given by patients who were not sexually active was fatigue. Age was the only factor found to be associated with ED (p < 0.005) and severity of ED increased with age. There was no association between ED and psychological stress or quality of life.

    CONCLUSION: Prevalence of ED and absence of sexual activity in lymphoma survivors was high. This should serve as a reminder to the treating clinician to offer early treatment and counselling.

  2. Gan GG, Ng DLC, Leong YC, Bee PC, Chin EFM, Abdul Halim H, et al.
    Med J Malaysia, 2019 Jun;74(3):191-197.
    PMID: 31256172
    BACKGROUND: It is not uncommon that anxiety and depression occur in patients with cancers, and past researches have shown that the quality of life of patients is negatively affected. This study aims to determine the prevalence of anxiety and depression of patients with haematological cancers in Malaysia and to investigate the possible association of these psychological symptoms with their quality of life.

    METHODS: This is a cross-sectional study where patients with haematological cancers attending two major hospitals were recruited. Anxiety and depression symptoms were assessed using the Hospital Anxiety and Depression scale (HADS). Quality of life (QoL) of these patients was measured using the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer quality of life questionnaire (EORTC QLQ C30). An overall summary QoL score in combination with financial difficulty score and global health score were used for analysis.

    RESULTS: A total of 319 patients were recruited. Thirty-three percent of patients had anxiety symptoms, 23.5% had depression symptoms. In summary the overall score of QoL is significantly lower in patients with higher scores for depression and anxiety, (p<0.05). Patients who exhibit anxiety symptoms were more frequently female, still undergoing treatment whereas patients who had higher depression scores were older and had acute leukemias or myeloproliferative neoplasms. Patients who have depression are significantly associated with a higher financial difficulty score, p<0.05.

    CONCLUSION: The poor quality of life in patients who have anxiety and depression should raise awareness amongst the health professions treating them so that additional support can be provided.

  3. Look ML, Tan SB, Hong LL, Ng CG, Yee HA, Lim LY, et al.
    BMJ Support Palliat Care, 2021 Dec;11(4):433-439.
    PMID: 32788274 DOI: 10.1136/bmjspcare-2020-002382
    CONTEXT: There has been increasing evidence of the role of mindfulness-based interventions in improving various health conditions. However, the evidence for the use of mindfulness in the palliative care setting is still lacking.

    OBJECTIVES: The objective of our study was to determine the efficacy of a single session of 20 min mindful breathing in alleviating multiple symptoms in palliative care.

    METHODS: Adult palliative care in patients with at least one symptom scoring ≥5/10 based on the Edmonton Symptom Assessment Scale (ESAS) were recruited from September 2018 to December 2018. Recruited patients were randomly assigned to either 20 min mindful breathing and standard care or standard care alone.

    RESULTS: Forty patients were randomly assigned to standard care plus a 20 min mindful breathing session (n=20) or standard care alone (n=20). There was statistically significant reduction of total ESAS score in the mindful breathing group compared with the control group at minute 20 (U=98, n 1 = n 2 = 20, mean rank 1 = 15.4, mean rank 2 = 25.6, median reduction 1 = 6.5, median reduction 2 = 1.5, z=-2.763, r=0.3, p=0.005).

    CONCLUSION: Our results provided evidence that a single session of 20 min mindful breathing was effective in reducing multiple symptoms rapidly for palliative care patients.

  4. Tan TT, Tan MP, Lam CL, Loh EC, Capelle DP, Zainuddin SI, et al.
    PMID: 34244182 DOI: 10.1136/bmjspcare-2021-003068
    CONTEXT: Numerous studies have shown that gratitude can reduce stress and improve quality of life.

    OBJECTIVE: Our study aimed to examine the effect of mindful gratitude journaling on suffering, psychological distress and quality of life of patients with advanced cancer.

    METHODS: We conducted a parallel-group, blinded, randomised controlled trial at the University of Malaya Medical Centre, Malaysia. Ninety-two adult patients with advanced cancer, and an overall suffering score ≥4/10 based on the Suffering Pictogram were recruited and randomly assigned to either a mindful gratitude journaling group (N=49) or a routine journaling group (N=43).

    RESULTS: After 1 week, there were significant reductions in the overall suffering score from the baseline in both the intervention group (mean difference in overall suffering score=-2.0, 95% CI=-2.7 to -1.4, t=-6.125, p=0.000) and the control group (mean difference in overall suffering score=-1.6, 95% CI=-2.3 to -0.8, t=-4.106, p=0.037). There were also significant improvements in the total Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale score (mean difference=-3.4, 95% CI=-5.3 to -1.5, t=-3.525, p=0.000) and the total Functional Assessment of Chronic Illness Therapy-Spiritual Well-Being score (mean difference=7.3, 95% CI=1.5 to 13.1, t=2.460, p=0.014) in the intervention group after 7 days, but not in the control group.

    CONCLUSION: The results provide evidence that 7 days of mindful gratitude journaling could positively affect the state of suffering, psychological distress and quality of life of patients with advanced cancer.

    TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER: The trial was registered with the Australian and New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry (ACTRN1261800172191) and conducted in accordance with the Declaration of Helsinki.

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