This cross-sectional study investigated the use of alternative medications to alleviate menopause-related symptoms among Malay, Chinese, and Indian women of Ipoh city. The prevalence, types, effectiveness, and associated factors were determined. The prevalence of alternative medication use was 41.4%. Evening primrose oil (EPO) was the most popular medication used (18.1%), followed by soy-based products (12.3%), green tea (6.8%), and gingko (5.8%). The medication was reported to be highly effective by 58.3% of soya bean diet users and 41.1% of EPO users. Significant variables associated with the use were Chinese or Indian ethnicity (P < .001), age between 50 and 54 years (P < .01), lower self-health rating (P < .05), education level of diploma or professional degree (P < .05), employment as professionals or entrepreneurs (P < .05), and the use of hormone replacement therapy (P < .05). Regression analysis showed that Chinese and Indians had significantly higher odds for the use than Malays (Chinese: odds ratio [OR] = 4.33, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 2.392-7.837; Indians: OR = 3.248, 95% CI = 1.586-6.654).
The Work-Related Quality of Life Scale-2 (WRQLS-2) has been used to measure quality of working life (QOWL) in the United Kingdom. In this study, the scale was translated and normalized into Malay. The scale was translated using the back-translation method, pretesting, and pilot testing. It was conducted among health care and office workers. It was tested in 3 stages; confirmatory factor analysis at stages 1 and 3 and exploratory factor analysis at stage 2. The Malaysian WRQLS-2 had 5 factors: "General Well-Being," "Job and Career Satisfaction," "Employee Engagement," "Home-Work Interface," and "Stress at Work." The scale showed good convergent and construct validity and also reliability. Perception of good QOWL may differ because of cultural influences and varying work environments. The validated Malaysian WRQLS-2 can be used to determine the QOWL of Malaysian office and health care workers.
This study explores the rural environmental factors that influence adolescents' participation in physical activities (PA). Thirty-six indigenous adolescents, aged 13 to 17 years from rural communities of East Malaysia were involved in the photovoice procedures: photo-taking, selecting, contextualizing, and codifying themes. Despite being endowed with natural resources such as river, forest, hills, and so on, the adolescents and the community did not capitalize on these rich resources to promote and engage in PA. Poor maintenance of natural resources, the lack of pedestrian infrastructures and road safety, the lack of PA facilities, and negative perception of ancestors' agricultural activities were among factors that constrained adolescents' PA. Although basic amenities such as play spaces and pedestrian infrastructures are necessary to increase adolescents' PA, any intervention should make the most of the natural resources, which are cheaper, environment friendly, and sustainable.
In the past decade, the population in Malaysia has been rapidly ageing. This poses new challenges and issues that threaten the ability of the elderly to independently age in place. A multistage cross-sectional study on 789 community-dwelling elderly individuals aged 60 years and above was conducted in an urban district in Malaysia to assess the geriatric syndrome of frailty. Using a multidimensional frailty index, we detected 67.7% prefrail and 5.7% frail elders. Cognitive status was a significant correlate for frailty status among the respondents as well as those who perceived their health status as very poor or quite poor; but self-rated health was no longer significant when controlled for sociodemographic variables. Lower-body weakness and history of falls were associated with increasing frailty levels, and this association persisted in the multivariate model. This study offers support that physical disability, falls, and cognition are important determinants for frailty. This initial work on frailty among urban elders in Malaysia provides important correlations and identifies potential risk factors that can form the basis of information for targeted preventive measures for this vulnerable group in their prefrail state.
This study aimed to develop an intervention to reduce medical errors and to determine if the intervention can reduce medical errors in public funded primary care clinics. A controlled interventional trial was conducted in 12 conveniently selected primary care clinics. Random samples of outpatient medical records were selected and reviewed by family physicians for documentation, diagnostic, and management errors at baseline and 3 months post intervention. The intervention package comprised educational training, structured process change, review methods, and patient education. A significant reduction was found in overall documentation error rates between intervention (Pre 98.3% [CI 97.1-99.6]; Post 76.1% [CI 68.1-84.1]) and control groups (Pre 97.4% [CI 95.1-99.8]; Post 89.5% [85.3-93.6]). Within the intervention group, overall management errors reduced from 54.0% (CI 49.9-58.0) to 36.6% (CI 30.2-43.1) and medication error from 43.2% (CI 39.2-47.1) to 25.2% (CI 19.9-30.5). This low-cost intervention was useful to reduce medical errors in resource-constrained settings.
Malaysia has an abortion law, which permits termination of pregnancy to save a woman's life and to preserve her physical and mental health (Penal Code Section 312, amended in 1989). However, lack of clear interpretation and understanding of the law results in women facing difficulties in accessing abortion information and services. Some health care providers were unaware of the legalities of abortion in Malaysia and influenced by their personal beliefs with regard to provision of abortion services. Accessibility to safer abortion techniques is also an issue. The development of the 2012 Guidelines on Termination of Pregnancy and Guidelines for Management of Sexual and Reproductive Health among Adolescents in Health Clinics by the Ministry of Health, Malaysia, is a step forward toward increasing women's accessibility to safe abortion services in Malaysia. This article provides an account of women's accessibility to abortion in Malaysia and the health sector response in addressing the barriers.
This systematic review aimed to examine trends in overweight, obesity, and type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) among Malaysian adults, and to identify its underlying determinants. A review of studies published between 2000 and 2012 on overweight, obesity, and T2DM was conducted. The Cochrane library of systematic reviews, MEDLINE, EMBASE, Biosis, Scopus, and MyJurnal digital database were searched. According to national studies, the prevalence of overweight increased from 26.7% in 2003 to 29.4% in 2011; obesity prevalence increased from 12.2% in 2003 to 15.1% in 2011, and T2DM prevalence was reported as 11.6% in 2006 and 15.2% in 2011. Distal determinants of increased risk of overweight, obesity, and T2DM were as follows: female, Malay/Indian ethnicity, and low educational level. The limited number of studies on proximal determinants of these noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) indicated that an unhealthy diet was associated with increased risk, whereas smoking was associated with decreased risk. However, more studies on the proximal determinants of overweight, obesity, and T2DM within the Malaysian context are needed. Overall, our findings provide insights for designing both future investigative studies and strategies to control and prevent these NCDs in Malaysia.
This qualitative study aimed to describe field worker perceptions, evaluations of worth, and time costs of routine dengue vector surveillance methods in Cairns (Australia), Kuala Lumpur and Petaling District (Malaysia). In Cairns, the BG-Sentinel trap is a favored method for field workers because of its user-friendliness, but is not as cost-efficient as the sticky ovitrap. In Kuala Lumpur, the Mosquito Larvae Trapping Device is perceived as a solution for the inaccessibility of premises to larval surveys. Nonetheless, the larval survey method is retained in Malaysia for prompt detection of dengue vectors. For dengue vector surveillance to be successful, there needs to be not only technical, quantitative evaluations of method performance but also an appreciation of how amenable field workers are to using particular methods. Here, we report novel field worker perceptions of dengue vector surveillance methods in addition to time analysis for each method.
Cigarette smoking in adolescent is a significant public health problem, leading to the risk of addiction, morbidity, and mortality in the long term. This study determined the prevalence and correlates of current smoking among adolescent school children. A nationwide school-based survey among 25 507 students between Forms 1 to 5 (aged 12-17) was conducted using a 2-stage cluster sampling design. The prevalence of current smoking was 11.5%. Multivariable logistic regression analysis revealed that current smoking was significantly associated with males (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] = 3.25; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.87, 4.98), current drinking (aOR = 2.34; 95% CI = 1.46, 3.74), drug used (aOR = 2.97; 95% CI = 1.24, 7.11), and being bullied (aOR = 1.41; 95% CI = 1.00, 1.98) at least once in the past 12 months. Smoking is associated with several behaviors that pose risks to adolescents, such as social issues and smoking-related health problems. Thus, early and integrated prevention programs that address multiple risk behaviors simultaneously are required.
This study evaluated the impact of maternal marital status on birth outcomes among young Malaysian women and investigated other risk factors influencing the birth outcomes. Pregnant women with and without marital ties at the point of pregnancy diagnosis were invited to participate in this study. Participants were interviewed using a structured questionnaire at pregnancy diagnosis and shortly after childbirth. From a total of 229 unmarried and 213 married women who participated, marital status was significantly associated with preterm birth (odds ratio [OR], 1.66; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.05-2.61) and low birth weight (OR, 3.61; 95% CI, 1.98-6.57). Other factors significantly associated with birth outcomes was prenatal care (OR, 4.92; 95% CI, 1.43-16.95), "use of drugs" (OR, 10.39; 95% CI, 1.14-94.76), age (OR, 1.12; 95% CI, 1.07-1.16), and number of prenatal visits (OR, 1.03; 95% CI, 1.00-1.07). Promoting access to prenatal care and social support programs for unmarried mothers may be important to reduce adverse pregnancy outcomes.