Work ability is related to many factors that might influence one's capacity to work. This study aimed to examine the work ability and its related factors among small and medium enterprises (SME) workers in 4 Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries. The participants in this study included 2098 workers from food and textile industries in Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam. A cross-sectional survey of anonymous self-administrated questionnaire was designed to collect information on sociodemographic factors, work environment and ergonomic condition, musculoskeletal disorders, and work ability. Bivariate correlation coefficient and multiple linear regression analyses were used to predict the work ability. Results of this study confirm that work ability in 4 ASEAN countries was similar to that in European countries, and that the sociodemographic factors, work environment and ergonomic condition, and musculoskeletal disorder (MSD) were associated with work ability. These factors are important for considering occupational health and safety policy to promote work ability in food, textile, and other SME workers.
This study describes the physical activity of primary school children according to sociodemographic characteristics and activity domains. Using the Malaysian South East Asian Nutrition Surveys data, 1702 children aged 7 to 12 years were included in the analysis. Physical activity was reported as a total score and categorized into low, medium, and high levels based on Physical Activity Questionnaire for Older Children. Higher overall activity scores were found in boys, younger age, non-Chinese ethnicity, and normal body mass index category. Sex, age, and ethnicity differences were found in structured or organized, physical education, and outside-of-school domain scores. Transport-related scores differed by age group, ethnicity, household income, and residential areas but not among the three physical activity levels. Participation of girls, Chinese, and older children were low in overall and almost all activity domains. Sociodemographic characteristics are important factors to consider in increasing the different domains of physical activity among Malaysian children.
This cross-sectional study aimed to determine the prevalence and the factors associated with sexual initiation among the late adolescents in 6 institutions of higher learning in Malaysia. A total of 1572 students completed self-administered questionnaires between April and September 2013. Hierarchical multivariate logistic regression analyses stratified by gender were employed to identify the correlates of sexual initiation. The analyses were further adjusted by sampling weights. The overall prevalence of sexual initiation was 9.8% (95% confidence interval [CI] = 8.3-11.6), 18.1% (95% CI = 15.1-21.5) among males, and 4.1% (95% CI = 2.9-5.9) among females. The risk factors identified in this study supported the influence of the individual, family, and peer factors in the social-ecological model on adolescents' behaviors. The findings suggest the need for risk-reduction strategies aimed at the individual, family, and peer levels as well as the importance of gender-specific focus in assuring better outcomes.
This article aims to describe the eating habits of Malaysian children using a nationally representative data set from the South East Asian Nutrition Surveys (SEANUTS) in Malaysia. A total of 2797 children aged 2 to 12 years were included in this analysis. Eating habits and dietary intakes of children were assessed using questionnaires. Overall, 56.1% of children consumed 3 main meals every day. Approximately 20% of children snacked 3 times per day, whereas 9.7% ate fast food on a weekly basis. Irregular meal patterns were significantly associated with lower micronutrient intakes, and the groups with higher odds for this pattern were older children, Malays, and those living in rural areas. Considering the relatively high rate of irregular meal consumption and its potential influence on dietary nutrient intake, persistent efforts must be continued to promote and inculcate healthy eating habits among children from an early age.
Problematic eating behaviors during childhood may lead to positive energy balance and obesity. Therefore, this study aims to investigate the association of eating behaviors with nutritional status and body composition in Malaysian children aged 7 to 12 years. A total of 1782 primary schoolchildren were randomly recruited from 6 regions in Malaysia. The multidimensional Children's Eating Behaviour Questionnaire (CEBQ) was reported by parents to determine the 8 different dimensions of eating styles among children. Body mass index (BMI), BMI-for-age Z-score, waist circumference, and body fat percentage were assessed. Linear regression analyses revealed that both food responsiveness and desire to drink subscales were positively associated with a child's body adiposity, whereas satiety responsiveness, slowness in eating, and emotional undereating subscales were negatively associated with adiposity (all P < .05). A multidimensional eating style approach based on the CEBQ is needed to promote healthy eating behaviors in order to prevent excessive weight gain and obesity problems among Malaysian children.
Leptospirosis is an important zoonotic disease globally and is endemic in Malaysia. A study was conducted in the Rejang basin of Sarawak from June 2011 to May 2013 to determine the seroprevalence of leptospirosis among the communities and dominant infecting Leptospira serovars. A total of 508 human sera were analyzed using ELISA and the microscopic agglutination test (MAT). The seroprevalence of leptospirosis in the study area was 37.4%, with the highest prevalence in Kapit division. More women were positive for leptospirosis (59.5%), and the mean age of seropositive individuals was 42.2 (SD = 18.7) years. Antibody titers between 1:50 and 1:1600 were reported, and serovars djasiman (22.1%), shermani (13.2%), and pomona (7.9%) predominated, with varied distribution between geographical locations. This study highlighted the endemicity and diversity of existing Leptospira serovars within the community. This information should be communicated to local health personnel and communities at risk, and rapid diagnostic capability should be made available to local health facilities.
The study investigated the association between breakfast types consumed, daily energy intake, and body mass index for age Z-score (BAZ). Cross-sectional data from 1258 children aged 7 to 12.9 years were analyzed for breakfast type, nutrient intakes, BAZ, and proportion of overweight or obesity. Analysis of covariance was used to compare energy and nutrient intakes, BAZ, and proportion of overweight/obese children between breakfast groups. Only 19% of children had adequate energy intake from breakfast. Those consuming snacks had a significantly lower BAZ (Z = -0.73), with 5% of them being overweight/obese. Those consuming beverages and desserts had the lowest total daily energy intake (1314 kcal) and lowest protein intake (8.4 g). The results suggest that breakfast type is associated with daily energy intake and BAZ. Most breakfasts are not adequate. School-based nutrition education programs involving families, teachers, and health professionals can contribute to improve this situation.
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 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.
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.
Adolescence is the time of greatest risk for the first onset of suicidal behaviors. This study aimed to identify the risk and protective factors associated with suicidal ideation among Malaysian adolescents. Data from the 2012 Malaysia Global School-based Student Health Survey, a nationwide study using a 2-stage cluster sampling design, were analyzed. The survey used a self-administered validated bilingual questionnaire and the Depression Anxiety and Stress Scale. The prevalence of suicidal ideation was 7.9%. Analysis revealed that suicidal ideation was positively associated with depression, anxiety, stress, substance use, being bullied, and being abused at home, either physically or verbally. In addition, suicidal ideation was significantly higher among females and among the Indians and Chinese. Having close friends and married parents were strongly protective against suicidal ideation. Understanding the risk and protective factors is important in providing comprehensive management for suicidal ideation.
Study name: Global School-Based Student Health Survey (GSHS)