The portfolio consists of a variety of documentation of a learner's proof of learning. It has been promoted as one way to verify a learner's personal and professional development, especially for the more mature trainees and doctors at work. It has not been widely accepted as a summative tool because the amount of time imposed on the learners may be considerable. Ways to improve the reliability of assessments on unstandardised portfolios are needed for its wider application.
This article chronicles the popular health beliefs of the Malays and Chinese regarding chickenpox, as seen through the eyes of a doctor. The interplay of several factors, namely, a marriage of two major cultures, chickenpox in pregnancy, concurrence of two major festivals make this a unique study in medical socio-anthropology.
In the developing world, clinical knowledge management in primary care has a long way to go. Clinical decision support systems, despite its promise to revolutionise healthcare, is slow in its implementation due to the lack of financial investment in information technology. Point-of-care resources, such as comprehensive electronic textbooks delivered via the web or mobile devices, have yet to be fully utilised by the healthcare organisation or individual clinicians. Increasing amount of applicable knowledge of good quality (e.g. clinical practice guidelines and other pre-appraised resources) are now available via the internet. The policy makers and clinicians need to be more informed about the potential benefits and
limitations of these new tools and resources and make the necessary budgetary provision and learn how best to harness them for patient care.
This review highlights the high prevalence of antibiotic use for upper respiratory tract infections (URTIs) in a larger part of the Asia-Pacific region. Since URTIs are one of the common reasons for primary care consultations in this region, inappropriate use of antibiotic in both quantity and drug choice has greatly influenced the development of antibiotic resistance. Notwithstanding the paucity of Asia-Pacific data on the above issues, the available information suggests urgent actions needed to be taken to promote judicious antibiotic use at the point-of-care through a multi- pronged approach targeting the patients/consumers (or parents), healthcare providers and health care systems.
The quality of physician prescribing is suboptimal. Patients are at risk of potentially adverse reaction because of inappropriate or writing error in the drug prescriptions. We assess the effect of "group academic detailing" to reduce writing drug name using brand name and short form in the drug prescriptions in a controlled study at two primary health care clinics in Negeri Sembilan. Five medical officers in Ampangan Health Clinic received an educational intervention consisting of group academic detailing from the resident Family Medicine Specialist, as well as a drug summary list using generic names. The academic detailing focused on appropriate prescribing habit and emphasized on using the full generic drug name when writing the drug prescription. Analyses were based on 3371 prescriptions that were taken from two clinics. The other health clinic was for comparison. The prescribing rates were assessed by reviewing the prescriptions (two months each for pre- and post-intervention phase). Statistically significant reduction in writing prescription using brand name and using short form were observed after the educational intervention. Writing prescription using brand name for pre- and postintervention phase were 33.9% and 19.0% (postintervention vs pre-intervention RR 0.56, 95% CI 0.48 to 0.66) in the intervention clinic. Prescription writing using any short form for pre- and post-intervention phase were 49.2% and 29.2% (post-intervention vs pre-intervention RR 0.59, 95% CI 0.53 to 0.67). This low cost educational intervention focusing on prescribing habit produced an important reduction in writing prescription using brand name and short form. Group detailing appears to be feasible in the public health care system in Malaysia and possibly can be used for other prescribing issues in primary care.
BACKGROUND: Previous studies report various degrees of agreement between self-perceived competence and objectively measured competence in medical students. There is still a paucity of evidence on how the two correlate in the field of Evidence Based Medicine (EBM). We undertook a cross-sectional study to evaluate the self-perceived competence in EBM of senior medical students in Malaysia, and assessed its correlation to their objectively measured competence in EBM.
METHODS: We recruited a group of medical students in their final six months of training between March and August 2006. The students were receiving a clinically-integrated EBM training program within their curriculum. We evaluated the students' self-perceived competence in two EBM domains ("searching for evidence" and "appraising the evidence") by piloting a questionnaire containing 16 relevant items, and objectively assessed their competence in EBM using an adapted version of the Fresno test, a validated tool. We correlated the matching components between our questionnaire and the Fresno test using Pearson's product-moment correlation.
RESULTS: Forty-five out of 72 students in the cohort (62.5%) participated by completing the questionnaire and the adapted Fresno test concurrently. In general, our students perceived themselves as moderately competent in most items of the questionnaire. They rated themselves on average 6.34 out of 10 (63.4%) in "searching" and 44.41 out of 57 (77.9%) in "appraising". They scored on average 26.15 out of 60 (43.6%) in the "searching" domain and 57.02 out of 116 (49.2%) in the "appraising" domain in the Fresno test. The correlations between the students' self-rating and their performance in the Fresno test were poor in both the "searching" domain (r = 0.13, p = 0.4) and the "appraising" domain (r = 0.24, p = 0.1).
CONCLUSIONS: This study provides supporting evidence that at the undergraduate level, self-perceived competence in EBM, as measured using our questionnaire, does not correlate well with objectively assessed EBM competence measured using the adapted Fresno test.
STUDY REGISTRATION: International Medical University, Malaysia, research ID: IMU 110/06.
OBJECTIVE: To assess the impact of a structured, clinically integrated evidence-based undergraduate medicine training programme using a validated tool. DESIGN. Before and after study with no control group.
SETTING: A medical school in Malaysia with an affiliated district clinical training hospital.
PARTICIPANTS: Seventy-two medical students in their final 6 months of training (senior clerkship) encountered between March and August 2006.
INTERVENTION: Our educational intervention included two plenary lectures at the beginning of the clerkship, small-group bedside question-generating sessions, and a journal club in the paediatric posting.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Our primary outcome was evidence-based medicine knowledge, measured using the adapted Fresno test (score range, 0-212) administered before and after the intervention. We evaluated the performance of the whole cohort, as well as the scores of different subgroups that received separate small-group interventions in their paediatric posting. We also measured the correlation between the students' evidence-based medicine test scores and overall academic performances in the senior clerkship.
RESULTS: Fifty-five paired scripts were analysed. Evidence-based medicine knowledge improved significantly post-intervention (means: pre-test, 84 [standard deviation, 24]; post-test, 122 ; P<0.001). Post-test scores were significantly correlated with overall senior clerkship performance (r=0.329, P=0.014). Lower post-test scores were observed in subgroups that received their small-group training earlier as opposed to later in the clerkship.
CONCLUSIONS: Clinically integrated undergraduate evidence-based medicine training produced an educationally important improvement in evidence-based medicine knowledge. Student performance in the adapted Fresno test to some extent reflected their overall academic performance in the senior clerkship. Loss of evidence-based medicine knowledge, which might have occurred soon after small-group training, is a concern that warrants future assessment.
A cross sectional study using a self-administered questionnaire to determine the perceptions of primary care doctors towards evidence-based medicine (EBM) was conclucted in Melaka state. About 78% of the primary care doctors were aware of EBM and agreed it could improve patient care. Only 6.7% of them had ever conducted a Medline literature search. They had a low level of awareness of review publications and databases relevant to EBM; only about 33% of them were aware of the Cochrane Database of Systemic Reviews. Over half of the respondents had at least some understanding of the technical terms used in EBM. Ninety percent of the respondents had Internet access and the majority of them used it at home. The main barriers to practicing EBM were lack of personal time and lack of Internet access in the primary care clinics.
Malaysia has a population of 21.2 million of which 44% resides in rural areas. A major priority of healthcare providers has been the enhancement of health of 'disadvantaged' rural communities particularly the rural poor, women, infants, children and the disabled. The Ministry of Health is the main healthcare provider for rural communities with general practitioners playing a complimentary role. With an extensive network of rural health clinics, rural residents today have access to modern healthcare with adequate referral facilities. Mobile teams, the flying doctor service and village health promoters provide healthcare to remote areas. The improvement in health status of the rural population using universal health status indicators has been remarkable. However, differentials in health status continue to exist between urban and rural populations. Malaysia's telemedicine project is seen as a means of achieving health for all rural people.
Mr S is a 38 year old Indian man who has type 2 diabetes mellitus for 3 years. He is currently on metformin 500mg BD. His BMI is 24.9 kg/m2 (weight 72 kg, height 170 cm). His blood glucose is well controlled (HbA1c 6%). His fasting lipid levels are as follow: Total cholesterol 5.0 mmol/L, HDL-C 1.60 mmol/L, LDL-C 2.6 mmol/L and triglyceride 0.9 mmol/L. He has no family history of acute myocardial infarction. He is a smoker (14 sticks/day, 12 years) but non-hypertensive. He asks if he should take atorvastatin, a lipid-lowering drug that his father is taking. Should statins be started in type 2 diabetic patients without pre-existing coronary artery disease whose lipid level is not elevated?
A 21-year old medical student consults the doctor for a fever that started 3 days ago. The fever was high grade and associated with generalised body aches. There was no gum bleeding. He mentioned that mosquito fogging was conducted in his neighbourhood recently.Physical examination revealed an alert conscious young man. Temperature (oral): 38.9 ͦ C, blood pressure 100/70 mmHg, pulse rate 90/min, good volume. Mild flushing was noted. No petechiae were seen in his legs. Tourniquet test was positive.
This paper discusses the adverse effect of statins on the HbA1c levels of diabetic patients. Studies have shown that statins may slightly worsen the HbA1c level. The effects vary depending on the type of statins, the dosage and the duration of therapy. However, it has been confirmed that statin use has benefits that outweigh its harms. Therefore, a diabetic patient should be given advice on the need for appropriate lifestyle changes and the importance of continuing the statins.
Comment on: Cannon B, Usherwood TP. General practice consultations - how well do doctors
predict patient satisfaction? Aust Fam Physician. 2007 Mar;36(3):185-6, 192. PubMed PMID: 17339988. https://www.racgp.org.au/afp/200703/15394
BACKGROUND: The indiscriminate use of cough and cold medicines (CCMs) in children has become a public health concern. The study evaluates the prescription pattern of CCMs in primary care setting.
METHODS: Analysis of CCMs prescription data among children aged 12 years and below who had participated in the National Medical Care Survey (NMCS) 2010. Data was extracted from NMCS 2010, a cross-sectional survey on the primary healthcare service which was carried out from December 2009 to April 2010 in public and private primary care clinics in Malaysia.
RESULT: Of 21,868 encounters for NMCS 2010, 3574 (16.3%) were children 12 years old and below; 597 (17%) were from public clinics and 2977 (83%) were from private clinics. Of these 3574 encounters, 1748 (49%) children were prescribed with CCM with total of 2402 CCMs. On average, CCMs were prescribed at a rate of 1.3 CCMs per encounter in public clinics and 1.4 CCMs per encounter in private clinics. CCMs containing single ingredient constituted 77% of the prescriptions while 23% were of multiple ingredient preparations. There were 556 (23%) CCMs prescribed to children younger than 2 years. Majority (65%) were prescribed with one CCM per visit, 32% received two CCMs and 3% of the children received three or more CCMs per visit.
CONCLUSION: Prescription of CCMs to children is common. Prevalence of CCM prescriptions among young children is of concern, in view of concerns about the safety and adverse effects related to the use of CCMs in this age group. Firmer policies and greater effort is needed to monitor the prescriptions of CCMs to children.