Displaying publications 1 - 20 of 38 in total

  1. Tong SF, Chen R
    Malays Fam Physician, 2007;2(3):110-3.
    PMID: 25606096 MyJurnal
    Treatment refusal is a common encounter in clinical practice. The process of deciding to refuse treatment is often complex. It is our responsibility to try and understand this process of decision making and the underlying reasons for treatment refusal. Many of these reasons are often rational in the context where the decision is made. The patients could be making the best decision for themselves even if these decisions are not necessarily the best in our mind. We should at all times discuss our treatment options and assess their ability to make decisions in achieving common goals. These goals should balance our best treatment strategies and the patients' best interest. This article discusses the reasons underlying treatment refusal and how we can achieve a common goal with our patients.
  2. Ling J, Tong SF
    Malays Fam Physician, 2017;12(1):2-13.
    PMID: 28503268
    INTRODUCTION: Traditionally, family planning initiatives were concentrated on women despite it being a family matter. As family dynamics evolved over the years, fathers' involvement in family planning has become crucial in enhancing the family well-being.
    OBJECTIVES: This study aimed to identify the role played by men in family planning activities and the association of socio-economic characteristics with these roles.
    METHODOLOGY: This was a cross-sectional study carried out in a university primary care clinic. All married male attendees to the clinic, aged 50 years and below, were approached to answer a set of self-administered questionnaires, asking for their involvement in family planning practices. The data were analysed using descriptive and inferential statistics.
    RESULTS: There were 167 participants in the study. A high proportion of men participated in the discussions regarding previous pregnancies (60.42%), future child planning (89.76%) and desired family size (89.76%). However, the discussions on the usage of family planning methods (FPMs; 39.16%) were significantly low. Socio-economic factors associated with higher likelihood of men discussing family planning activities were older age (p < 0.0), higher education level (p = 0.010), higher monthly income (p < 0.001) and longer duration of marriage (p = 0.0049).
    CONCLUSIONS: The level of participation of men varied in the discussions of four family planning activities. The roles taken by men in family planning were associated with older age and higher socio-economic class. The majority of men needs to be encouraged to play a more active role in the discussion of FPMs.
  3. Tong SF, Low WY
    Asia Pac J Public Health, 2012 Jul;24(4):543-55.
    PMID: 22815311 DOI: 10.1177/1010539512452756
    Men's health discourse has been around for more than 2 decades. The higher mortality rates and the shorter life expectancy in Asian men compared with their women counterparts show the disadvantaged status of men's health. Thus, discussions on men's health should address their health needs and not be confined to sex-specific male urology and reproductive health. In Asia, assessing men's health needs is challenging because of the vast differences in the socioeconomic status and the diverse culture among its member countries. Although, the epidemiology of men's health provides the focus for what to address in improving men's health, having an optimal strategy requires the understanding of men's health-seeking behaviors and the social determinants surrounding them. Thus, public health approaches addressing health behaviors and health promotion in the society should be one of the keys in improving men's health status. Locally relevant information is needed to inform effective public health approaches.
  4. Low LL, Tong SF, Low WY
    PLoS ONE, 2016;11(1):e0147127.
    PMID: 26812053 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0147127
    BACKGROUND: Diabetes Mellitus is a multifaceted chronic illness and its life-long treatment process requires patients to continuously engage with the healthcare system. The understanding of how patients manoeuvre through the healthcare system for treatment is crucial in assisting them to optimise their disease management. This study aims to explore issues determining patients' treatment strategies and the process of patients manoeuvring through the current healthcare system in selecting their choice of treatment for T2DM.

    METHODS: The Grounded Theory methodology was used. Twelve patients with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus, nine family members and five healthcare providers from the primary care clinics were interviewed using a semi-structured interview guide. Three focus group discussions were conducted among thirteen healthcare providers from public primary care clinics. Both purposive and theoretical samplings were used for data collection. The interviews were audio-taped and transcribed verbatim, followed by line-by-line coding and constant comparison to identify the categories and core category.

    RESULTS: The concept of "experimentation" was observed in patients' help-seeking behaviour. The "experimentation" process required triggers, followed by information seeking related to treatment characteristics from trusted family members, friends and healthcare providers to enable decisions to be made on the choice of treatment modalities. The whole process was dynamic and iterative through interaction with the healthcare system. The decision-making process in choosing the types of treatment was complex with an element of trial-and-error. The anchor of this process was the desire to fulfil the patient's expected outcome.

    CONCLUSION: Patients with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus continuously used "experimentation" in their treatment strategies and help-seeking process. The "experimentation" process was experiential, with continuous evaluation, information seeking and decision-making tinged with the element of trial-and-error. The theoretical model generated from this study is abstract, is believed to have a broad applicability to other diseases, may be applied at varying stages of disease development and is non-context specific.
  5. Low LL, Tong SF, Low WY
    Asia Pac J Public Health, 2016 Jan;28(1 Suppl):17S-25S.
    PMID: 26219560 DOI: 10.1177/1010539515596807
    This qualitative study aimed to explore the influence of social networks such as family members, friends, peers, and health care providers toward the help-seeking behaviour (HSB) of patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus in the public and private primary care settings. In-depth interviews of 12 patients, 9 family members, and 5 health care providers, as well as 3 focus groups among 13 health care providers were conducted. All interviews were audio-taped and transcribed verbatim for qualitative analysis. Social influences play a significant role in the help-seeking process; once diagnosed, patients source information from people around them to make decisions. This significant influence depends on the relationship between patients and social networks or the level of trust, support, and comforting feeling. Thus, the impacts on patients' help-seeking behavior are varied. However, the help-seeking process is not solely an individual's concern but a dynamic process interacting with the social networks within the health care system.
  6. Tong SF, Aziz NA, Chin GL
    Med. J. Malaysia, 2007 Dec;62(5):390-3.
    PMID: 18705473 MyJurnal
    Thrombocytopaenia is often relied upon as an important criterion for the diagnosis of dengue infection among patients presenting with an acute non-specific febrile illness. This study was aimed to assess usefulness of thrombocytopaenia in the diagnosis of acute dengue virus infection. This was a clinic based prospective cohort study from May to November 2003. Consecutive patients presenting with acute non-specific febrile illness of less than two weeks were selected from two urban primary care centres. We did full blood count examination (FBC) on the day of visit and dengue serology on day five of illness for all patients enrolled. We repeated the FBC examination for patients who had initial normal platelet counts. Thrombocytopaenia was defined as platelet count < 150 X 10(9)/L. Eighty-seven patients enrolled in the study. Complete data was available for 73 patients. The prevalence of acute dengue virus infection was 27.6%. The sensitivity and specificity were 88% and 71% respectively. The likelihood of acute dengue infection in the presence of thrombocytopaenia was 2.52 and likelihood of not having dengue infection in normal platelet count patients was 5.22. Thrombocytopaenia has fair predictive value in diagnosing acute dengue virus infection. It was more useful to exclude than to diagnose dengue infection.

    Study site: Primary Care Centre of Hospital Universiti
    Kebangsaan Malaysia (HUKM) and Batu 9 Health Clinic Hulu Langat,
  7. Cheong AT, Tong SF, Khoo EM
    BMC Fam Pract, 2013;14:19.
    PMID: 23368977 DOI: 10.1186/1471-2296-14-19
    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.
  8. Tong SF, Ho C, Tan HM
    Int. J. Urol., 2011 Jan;18(1):32-42.
    PMID: 20969645 DOI: 10.1111/j.1442-2042.2010.02652.x
    The aging man is becoming a major burden to Asian countries because of the current poor health status of Asian men and the aging Asian population. Life expectancy at birth for men is shorter than women by an average of 4 years in Asian countries and major causes of death are cardiovascular disease, cancers, injuries and infections. However, there are considerable variations between Asian countries because of great disparity in socioeconomic status. Male-specific disorders, such as male sexual health and urological conditions, are other major health burdens because they have a great impact on men's quality of life. More importantly, many risk factors to the causes of mortality and morbidities, such as high-risk behavior and smoking, can be improved with health promotion and early intervention. The current evidence suggests that the poor health status of men is the result of their poor health care utilization, negative health-seeking behavior, the adverse social environment for men and gender-insensitive health care delivery. However, much evidence is still needed as Asian countries have great diversity in culture, societal values and men's needs. Asian time-tested wisdom on a balanced healthy lifestyle to longevity should be explored as potential men's health promotional programs. Taking into account Asian men's health-care needs, a gender-streamlined approach and man-friendly health care delivery should be on the national agenda in managing the aging man.
  9. Tong SF, Low WY, Ng CJ
    Asian J. Androl., 2011 Jul;13(4):526-33.
    PMID: 21358664 DOI: 10.1038/aja.2010.125
    Men's health concerns have evolved from the traditional andrology and male sexual health to a more holistic approach that encompasses male psychological, social and physical health. The poor state of health in men compared to their female counterparts is well documented. A review of the epidemiological data from Malaysia noted a similar trend in which men die at higher rates in under 1 and above 15 years old groups and most disease categories compared to women. In Malaysia, the main causes of death in men are non-communicable diseases and injuries. Risk factors, such as risk-taking behaviour, smoking and hypertension, are prevalent and amenable to early interventions. Erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation and prostate disorders are also prevalent. However, many of these morbidities go unreported and are not diagnosed early; therefore, opportunities for early intervention are missed. This reflects poor health knowledge and inadequate health-care utilisation among Malaysian men. Their health-seeking behaviour has been shown to be strongly influenced by family members and friends. However, more research is needed to identify men's unmet health-care needs and to develop optimal strategies for addressing them. Because the Malaysian population is aging and there is an increase in sedentary lifestyles, optimizing men's health will remain a challenge unless effective measures are implemented. The existing male-unfriendly health-care system and the negative influence of masculinity on men's health behaviour must be addressed. A national men's health policy based on a male-friendly approach to health-care delivery is urgently needed to provide a framework for addressing these challenges.
  10. Tong SF, Aziz NA, Chin GL
    Medicine & Health, 2006;1(1):25-30.
    A proportion of patients with acute viral fever with thrombocytopaenia does not necessary have dengue infection. Managing them indiscriminately as dengue infection may not be appropriate. The prevalence of this problem is not exactly known. The objective of this study is to determine the prevalence of acute non-dengue febrile thrombocytopaenia among adult patients presenting with acute non-specific febrile illness in an outpatient setting. This was a clinic-based cross sectional study. Consecutive patients presenting with non-specific febrile illness of less than two weeks were selected from the Primary Care Centre of Hospital Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (HUKM) and the Batu 9 Cheras Health Clinic. Full blood count was done on the day of visit and dengue serology was done on day five of illness for all patients enrolled. Seventy three patients participated in this study from May to November 2003. Among the patients, 35 (47.9%) were noted to have thrombocytopaenia. Fourteen (40%) patients with thrombocytopaenia were serologically negative. The prevalence of non-dengue febrile thrombocytopaenia was 19.2%. A significant number of patients with acute non-specific febrile illness with thrombocytopaenia were negative for dengue serology. These patients should be differentiated from those with acute febrile thrombocytopaenia, as they might differ in their natural history from those with dengue infection, and hence require different management strategies.

    Study site: Primary Care Centre of Pusat Perubatan Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (PPUKM)
  11. Tong SF, Abd Aziz NA, Chin GL, Khairani O
    Malays Fam Physician, 2006;1(1):15-8.
    PMID: 26998201 MyJurnal
    Identifying clinical features that differentiate acute febrile thrombocytopaenia from acute febrile illness without thrombocytopaenia can help primary care physician to decide whether to order a full blood count (FBC). This is important because thrombocytopaenia in viral fever may signify more serious underlying aetiology like dengue infection.
  12. Muthupalaniappen L, Tong SF, Hazizi H, Hamidon AH
    Malays Fam Physician, 2006;1(1):25-6.
    PMID: 26998206 MyJurnal
    A healthy 27 year old Para 3 presenting with abnormal menstruation without a period of amenorrhoea was diagnosed to have left tubal ectopic pregnancy after vaginal examination and abdominal ultrasonography. The case illustrates the need for careful history taking and the need for considering ectopic pregnancy in women in the reproductive age group, who have abnormal menstruation even if they are on contraception.
  13. Tan HM, Tong SF, Ho CC
    J Sex Med, 2012 Mar;9(3):663-71.
    PMID: 22188573 DOI: 10.1111/j.1743-6109.2011.02582.x
    INTRODUCTION: Sexual dysfunction in men, such as erectile dysfunction, hypogonadism, and premature ejaculation, generates considerable attention. Its association with physical and psychological health is an issue which should be addressed seriously.
    AIM: A review of the literature pertaining to the correlation between sexual dysfunction and physical and psychological health.
    METHODS: PubMed search for relevant publications on the association between sexual dysfunction in men and physical and psychological health.
    MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE: Clinical and epidemiological evidence that demonstrates the association between sexual dysfunction in men and physical and psychological health.
    RESULTS: Sexual dysfunction, i.e., erectile dysfunction, hypogonadism, and premature ejaculation, has been shown to be associated with physical and psychological health. There is a strong correlation between sexual dysfunction and cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndrome, quality of life, and depression.
    CONCLUSION: The association between men's sexual dysfunction and physical and psychological health is real and proven. Therefore, it should not be taken lightly but instead treated as a life-threatening medical problem.
  14. Cheong AT, Khoo EM, Tong SF, Liew SM
    PLoS ONE, 2016;11(7):e0159438.
    PMID: 27415432 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0159438
    BACKGROUND: More than half of the general population does not attend screening for cardiovascular diseases (CVD) hence they are unaware of their risks. The objective of this study was to explore the views and experiences of the public in deciding to undergo health checks for CVD prevention.

    METHODS: This was a qualitative study utilising the constructivist grounded theory approach. A total of 31 individuals aged 30 years and above from the community were sampled purposively. Eight interviews and six focus groups were involved, using a semi-structured topic guide.

    RESULTS: A conceptual framework was developed to explain the public's decision-making process on health check participation for CVD prevention. The intention to participate in health checks was influenced by the interplay between perceived relevance and the individual's readiness to face the outcome of health checks. Health checks were deemed relevant if people perceived themselves to be at risk of CVD and there was an advantage in knowing their cardiovascular status. People were ready to face the outcome of health checks if they wanted to know the results and were prepared to deal with the subsequent management. The decision to participate in health checks was also influenced by external factors such as the views of significant others, and the accessibility and availability of resources including time and finances.

    CONCLUSIONS: The intention to screen for CVD is motivated by two internal factors: the perceived relevance of the disease and readiness to face screening outcomes. Strategies targeting the internal decision-making process may prove to be key in improving the uptake of screening.

  15. Cheong AT, Sazlina SG, Tong SF, Azah AS, Salmiah S
    Malays Fam Physician, 2015;10(1):19-25.
    PMID: 26425291 MyJurnal
    INTRODUCTION: Hypertension is highly prevalent in the older people. Chronic disease care is a major burden in the public primary care clinics in Malaysia. Good blood pressure (BP) control is needed to reduce the morbidity and mortality of cardiovascular disease (CVD). This study aimed to determine the status of BP control and its associated factors among older people with hypertension in public primary care clinics.
    MATERIALS AND METHODS: A cross-sectional study on hypertensive patients aged 18 years and above was conducted in six public primary care clinics in Federal Territory, Malaysia. A total of 1107 patients were selected via systematic random sampling. Data from 441 (39.8%) patients aged 60 years and more were used in this analysis. BP control was determined from the average of two BP readings measured twice at an interval of 5 min. For patients without diabetes, poor BP control was defined as BP of ≥140/90 mm Hg and ≥150/90 for the patients aged 80 years and more. For patients with diabetes, poor control was defined as BP of ≥140/80 mm Hg.
    RESULTS: A total of 51.7% (n = 228) of older patients had poor BP control. The factors associated with BP control were education level (p = 0.003), presence of comorbidities (p = 0.015), number of antihypertensive agents (p = 0.001) and number of total medications used (p = 0.002). Patients with lower education (less than secondary education) (OR = 1.7, p = 0.008) and the use of three or more antihypertensive agents (OR = 2.0, p = 0.020) were associated with poor BP control.
    CONCLUSION: Among older people with hypertension, those having lower education level, or using three or more antihypertensive agents would require more attention on their BP control.
  16. Tan CE, Jaffar A, Tong SF, Hamzah MS, Mohamad N
    Med Educ Online, 2014 Jan;19(1):25605.
    PMID: 28440130 DOI: 10.3402/meo.v19.25605
    Introduction The Comprehensive Healthcare (CHC) module was developed to introduce pre-clinical medical and pharmacy students to the concept of comprehensive healthcare. This study aims to explore their shared learning experiences within this module. Methodology During this module, medical and pharmacy students conducted visits to patients' homes and to related community-based organisations in small groups. They were required to write a reflective journal on their experiences regarding working with other professions as part of their module assessment. Highly scored reflective journals written by students from the 2011/2012 academic session were selected for analysis. Their shared learning experiences were identified via thematic analysis. We also analysed students' feedback regarding the module. Results Analysis of 25 selected reflective journals revealed several important themes: 'Understanding of impact of illness and its relation to holistic care', 'Awareness of the role of various healthcare professions' and 'Generic or soft skills for inter-professional collaboration'. Although the primary objective of the module was to expose students to comprehensive healthcare, the students learnt skills required for future collaborative practice from their experiences. Discussion The CHC module provided early clinical exposure to community-based health issues and incorporated some elements of inter-professional education. The students learnt about the roles of other healthcare professions and acquired soft skills required for future collaborative practice during this module.
  17. Tong SF, Low WY, Ismail SB, Trevena L, Wilcock S
    Transl Androl Urol, 2013 Dec;2(4):281-90.
    PMID: 26816741 DOI: 10.3978/j.issn.2223-4683.2013.09.14
    Perceptions of how receptive men are to sexual health inquiry may affect Malaysian primary care doctors' decisions to initiate such a discussion with their male patients. This paper quantifies the impact of doctors' perceptions of men's receptivity on male sexual health inquiry. Sexual health inquiry is one of the five areas in a study on determinants of offering preventive health checks to Malaysian men.
  18. Teng CL, Ng CJ, Hanafi NS, Zailinawati AH, Tong SF
    J. Trop. Pediatr., 2008 Feb;54(1):70-3.
    PMID: 18039678 DOI: 10.1093/tropej/fmm077
    Universally, mothers often use touching to detect fever in their children. We perform a systematic review of published diagnostic studies evaluating the ability of mothers to detect fever in their children by touching. We found 10 studies satisfying our inclusion criteria. The meta-analysis revealed a summary sensitivity of 89.2% and summary specificity of 50%-maternal touch is perhaps more useful to exclude fever rather than to 'rule in' fever. However, due to significant heterogeneity in the included studies, interpretation of the summary data is difficult.
  19. Cheong AT, Tong SF, Sazlina SG, Azah AS, Salmiah MS
    Asia Pac J Public Health, 2015 Mar;27(2):NP580-9.
    PMID: 23536235 DOI: 10.1177/1010539513480232
    Hypertension is a common comorbidity among diabetic patients. This study aimed to determine blood pressure (BP) control among hypertensive patients with and without diabetes. This was a cross-sectional study in 6 public primary care clinics in Wilayah Persekutuan, Malaysia. Hypertensive patients aged ≥18 years and attending the clinics were selected via systematic random sampling. The BP control target was defined as <130/80 mm Hg for diabetic patients and <140/90 mm Hg for nondiabetic patients. A total of 1107 hypertensive patients participated in this study and 540 (48.7%) had diabetes. About one fourth (24.3%) of the hypertensive patients with diabetes achieved BP control target, compared with 60.1% patients without diabetes (P < .001). Being diabetic and on ≥2 antihypertensive treatments were associated with poor BP control. Attention needs to be given to these groups of patients when managing patients with hypertension.
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