MATERIALS AND METHODS: In this retrospective cohort study, data were extracted from the pharmacy database of University Malaya Medical Center (UMMC) responsible for dispensing records of patients stored in the pharmacy's Medication Management and Use System (Ascribe). We analyzed the use of psychotropics in patients from the oncology ward and cardiology from 2008 to 2012. Odds ratios (ORs) were adjusted for age, gender and ethnicity.
RESULTS: A total of 3,345 oncology patients and 8,980 cardiology patients were included. Oncology patients were significantly more often prescribed psychotropic drugs (adjusted OR: anxiolytic/hypnotic=5.55 (CI: 4.64-6.63); antidepressants=6.08 (CI: 4.83-7.64) and antipsychotics=5.41 (CI: 4.17-7.02). Non-Malay female cancer patients were at significantly higher risk of anxiolytic/hypnotic use.
CONCLUSIONS: Psychotropic drugs prescription is common in cancer patients. Anxiolytic/hypnotic prescription rates are significantly higher in non-Malay female patients in Malaysia.
OBJECTIVE: To study the efficacy of 5 minutes of mindful breathing (MB) for rapid reduction of distress in a palliative setting. Its effect to the physiological changes of the palliative cancer patients was also examined.
METHODS: This is a randomized controlled trial. Sixty palliative cancer patients were recruited. They were randomly assigned to either 5 minutes of MB or normal listening arms. The changes of perceived distress, blood pressure, pulse rate, breathing rate, galvanic skin response, and skin surface temperature of the patients were measured at baseline, after intervention, and 10 minutes post-intervention.
RESULTS: There was significant reduction of perceived distress, blood pressure, pulse rate, breathing rate, and galvanic skin response; also, significant increment of skin surface temperature in the 5-minute MB group. The changes in the 5-minute breathing group were significantly higher than the normal listening group.
CONCLUSION: Five-minute MB is a quick, easy to administer, and effective therapy for rapid reduction of distress in palliative setting. There is a need for future study to establish the long-term efficacy of the therapy.