OBJECTIVE: To understand the psychological processes involved in the experiencing of suffering at the end phase of life.
METHODS: Semistructured interviews were conducted with 20 palliative care inpatients from an academic medical centre in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The transcripts were thematically analysed with NVIVO9.
RESULTS: 5 themes of psychological processes of suffering were generated: (1) perceptions, (2) cognitive appraisals, (3) hope and the struggles with acceptance, (4) emotions and (5) clinging. A model of suffering formation was constructed.
CONCLUSION: The findings may inform the development of mechanism-based interventions in the palliation of suffering.
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.
AIM: To investigate the attitudes and perceptions of morphine use in cancer pain in advanced cancer patients and their caregivers and to examine the influence of caregivers' attitudes and perceptions on patients' acceptance of morphine.
DESIGN: Qualitative study involving semi-structured individual interviews transcribed verbatim and analyzed thematically.
SETTING/PARTICIPANTS: A total of 18 adult opioid-naïve patients with advanced cancer and 13 caregivers (n = 31) were recruited at a private tertiary hospital via convenience sampling.
RESULTS: Attitudes and perceptions of morphine were influenced by previous experiences. Prevalent themes were similar in both groups, including perceptions that morphine was a strong analgesic that reduced suffering, but associated with end-stage illness and dependence. Most participants were open to future morphine use for comfort and effective pain control. Trust in doctors' recommendations was also an important factor. However, many preferred morphine as a last resort because of concerns about side effects and dependence, and the perception that morphine was only used at the terminal stage. Caregivers' attitudes toward morphine did not affect patients' acceptance of morphine use.
CONCLUSION: Most participants were open to future morphine use despite negative perceptions as they prioritized optimal pain control and reduction of suffering. Focused education programs addressing morphine misperceptions might increase patient and caregiver acceptance of opioid analgesics and improve cancer pain control.
Methods: This was a cross-sectional study of patients with non-valvular atrial fibrillation (NVAF) or venous thromboembolism (VTE) on long-term anticoagulant therapy attending the cardiology clinic and anticoagulation clinic of the University Malaya Medical Centre from July 1, 2016, to June 30, 2018. Patient QOL was assessed by using the Short Form 12 Health Survey (SF12), while treatment satisfaction was assessed by using the Perception of Anticoagulation Treatment Questionnaire 2 (PACT-Q2).
Results: A total of 208 patients were recruited; 52.4% received warfarin and 47.6% received DOAC. There was no significant difference in QOL between warfarin and DOAC based on SF12 (physical QOL, P=0.083; mental QOL, P=0.665). Nevertheless, patients in the DOAC group were significantly more satisfied with their treatment compared to the warfarin group based on PACT-Q2 (P=0.004). The hospitalisation rate was significantly higher in the warfarin group than the DOAC group (15.6% versus 3.0%, P=0.002). Clinically relevant minor bleeds and severe bleeding events were non-significantly higher in the warfarin group than the DOAC group (66.7% versus 40.0%, P=0.069).
Conclusion: Compared to warfarin, treatment of NVAF and VTE with DOAC showed comparable QOL, higher treatment satisfaction, lesser hospitalization, and a non-significant trend toward fewer bleeding episodes.
OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to determine whether (1) utilization rates; (2) demographics and preoperative statuses; and (3) clinical outcomes differ among Chinese, Malays, and Indians undergoing minimally invasive transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (MIS-TLIF).
SUMMARY OF BACKGROUND DATA: There is a marked racial disparity in spine surgery outcomes between white and African American patients. Comparative studies of ethnicity have mostly been carried out in American populations, with an underrepresentation of Asian ethnic groups. It is unclear whether these disparities exist among Chinese, Malays, and Indians.
METHODS: A prospectively maintained registry was reviewed for 753 patients who underwent primary MIS-TLIF for degenerative spondylolisthesis between 2006 and 2013. The cohort was stratified by race. Comparisons of demographics, functional outcomes, and patient satisfaction were performed preoperatively and 1 month, 3 months, 6 months, and 2 years postoperatively.
RESULTS: Compared with population statistics, there was an overrepresentation of Chinese (6.6%) and an underrepresentation of Malays (5.0%) and Indians (3.5%) who underwent MIS-TLIF. Malays and Indians were younger and had higher body mass index at the time of surgery compared with Chinese. After adjusting for age, sex, and body mass index, Malays had significantly worse back pain and Indians had poorer Short-Form 36 Physical Component Summary compared with Chinese preoperatively. Chinese also had a better preoperative Oswestry Disability Index compared with the other races. Although significant differences remained at 1 month, there was no difference in outcomes up to 2 years postoperatively, except for a lower Physical Component Summary in Indians compared with Chinese at 2 years. The rate of minimal clinically important difference attainment, satisfaction, and expectation fulfillment was also comparable. At 2 years, 87.0% of Chinese, 76.9% of Malays, and 91.7% of Indians were satisfied.
CONCLUSION: The variations in demographics, preoperative statuses, and postoperative outcomes between races should be considered when interpreting outcome studies of lumbar spine surgery in Asian populations.
LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: Level III-nonrandomized cohort study.
OBJECTIVES: This study examined the effects of a five-minute mindful breathing practice performed three times per day for three months on perceived stress and mindfulness among patients with cancer.
METHODS: This longitudinal, randomized controlled study used a two-group, pre-/post-study design. Patients with distress scores of 4 or higher were randomized into two study arms. Participants in the intervention group were educated on mindfulness and guided on how to perform a five-minute mindful breathing practice. Perceived stress and mindfulness were assessed at baseline, one month postintervention, and three months postintervention.
FINDINGS: Both groups had no significant difference in perceived stress and mindfulness scores at baseline. At three months, the intervention group reported a significant reduction in stress and an increase in mindfulness.
METHODS: A cross-sectional study was conducted among patients on warfarin for NVAF who attended the anticoagulant clinic of a tertiary cardiology referral center in Sarawak from 1st June 2018 to 31st May 2019. Patients' TTR was calculated by using Rosendaal technique, while their HRQoL and treatment satisfaction were assessed by using Short Form 12 Health Survey version 2 (SF12v2) and Duke Anticoagulant Satisfaction Scale (DASS), respectively.
RESULTS: A total of 300 patients were included, with mean TTR score of 47.0 ± 17.3%. The physical component summary (PCS) and mental component summary (MCS) score of SF-12v2 were 47.0 ± 9.0 and 53.5 ± 9.6, respectively. The total score for DASS was 55.2 ± 21.3, while the score for limitations (L), hassles and burdens (H&B) and positive psychological impacts (PPI) were 18.0 ± 10.0, 15.6 ± 9.1 and 21.6 ± 5.9, respectively. Seventy-three (24.3%) patients had good TTR (≥ 60%), with mean of 70.2 ± 8.7%; while 227 (75.5%) patients with poor TTR had significantly lower mean of 39.5 ± 11.9% (p = 0.006). There was no significant difference in the score of PCS (p = 0.150), MCS (p = 0.919) and each domain of SF-12v2 (p = 0.184-0.684) between good and poor TTR, except for social functioning (p = 0.019). The total DASS score was also not significantly different between group (p = 0.779). Similar non-significant difference was also reported in all the DASS sub dimensions (p = 0.502-0.699).
CONCLUSIONS: Majority of the patients on long-term warfarin for NVAF in the current study have poor TTR. Their HRQoL and treatment satisfaction are independent of their TTR. Achieving a good TTR do not compromise the HRQoL and treatment satisfaction. Therefore, appropriate measures should be taken to optimise INR control, failing which direct oral anticoagulant therapy should be considered.
OBJECTIVES: This study aims to examine the effect of 20-minute mindful breathing on the rapid reduction of dyspnea at rest in patients with lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and asthma.
METHODS: We conducted a parallel-group, nonblinded, randomized controlled trial of standard care plus 20-minute mindful breathing vs. standard care alone for patients with moderate to severe dyspnea due to lung disease, named previously, at the respiratory unit of University Malaya Medical Centre in Malaysia, from August 1, 2017, to March 31, 2018.
RESULTS: Sixty-three participants were randomly assigned to standard care plus a 20-minute mindful breathing session (n = 32) or standard care alone (n = 31), with no difference in their demographic and clinical characteristics. There was statistically significant reduction in dyspnea in the mindful breathing group compared with the control group at minute 5 (U = 233.5, n1 = 32, n2 = 31, mean rank1 = 23.28, mean rank2 = 37.72, z = -3.574, P
Methods: This was a cross-sectional study of patients with COPD attending the respiratory medicine clinic of University of Malaya Medical Centre from 1 June 2017 to 31 May 2018. Disease-specific HRQoL was assessed by using the COPD Assessment Test (CAT) and St George's Respiratory Questionnaire for COPD (SGRQ-c).
Results: Of 189 patients, 28.6% were of non-exacerbator phenotype (NON-AE), 18.5% were of exacerbator with emphysema phenotype (AE NON-CB), 39.7% were of exacerbator with chronic bronchitis phenotype (AE CB), and 13.2% had asthma-COPD overlap syndrome phenotype (ACOS). The total CAT and SGRQ-c scores were significantly different between the clinical phenotypes (P<0.001). Patients who were AE CB had significantly higher total CAT score than those with ACOS (P=0.033), AE NON-CB (P=0.001), and NON-AE (P<0.001). Concerning SGRQ-c, patients who were AE CB also had a significantly higher total score than those with AE NON-CB (P=0.001) and NON-AE (P<0.001). However, the total SGRQ-c score of AE CB patients was only marginally higher than those who had ACOS (P=0.187). There was a significant difference in the score of each CAT item (except CAT 7) and SGRQ-c components between clinical phenotypes, with AE CB patients recording the highest score in each of them.
Conclusion: Patients who were AE CB had significantly poorer HRQoL than other clinical phenotypes and recorded the worst score in each of the CAT items and SGRQ-c components. Therefore, AE CB patients may warrant a different treatment approach that focuses on the exacerbation and chronic bronchitis components.