Displaying publications 1 - 20 of 27 in total

  1. Cheong AT, Lee PY, Sazlina SG, Mohamad Adam B, Chew BH, Mastura I, et al.
    BMC Fam Pract, 2013;14:188.
    PMID: 24325794 DOI: 10.1186/1471-2296-14-188
    BACKGROUND: Women of reproductive age are a group of particular concern as diabetes may affect their pregnancy outcome as well as long-term morbidity and mortality. This study aimed to compare the clinical profiles and glycemic control of reproductive and non-reproductive age women with type 2 diabetes (T2D) in primary care settings, and to determine the associated factors of poor glycemic control in the reproductive age group women.
    METHODS: This was a cross-sectional study using cases reported by public primary care clinics to the Adult Diabetes Control and Management registry from 1st January to 31st December 2009. All Malaysian women aged 18 years old and above and diagnosed with T2D for at least 1 year were included in the analysis. The target for glycemic control (HbA1c < 6.5%) is in accordance to the recommended national guidelines. Both univariate and multivariate approaches of logistic regression were applied to determine whether reproductive age women have an association with poor glycemic control.
    RESULTS: Data from a total of 30,427 women were analyzed and 21.8% (6,622) were of reproductive age. There were 12.5% of reproductive age women and 18.0% of non-reproductive age women that achieved glycemic control. Reproductive age group women were associated with poorer glycemic control (OR = 1.5, 95% CI = 1.2-1.8). The risk factors associated with poor glycemic control in the reproductive age women were being of Malay and Indian race, longer duration of diabetes, patients on anti-diabetic agents, and those who had not achieved the target total cholesterol and triglycerides.
    CONCLUSION: Women with T2D have poor glycemic control, but being of reproductive age was associated with even poorer control. Health care providers need to pay more attention to this group of patients especially for those with risk factors. More aggressive therapeutic strategies to improve their cardiometabolic control and pregnancy outcome are warranted.
  2. Abu Hassan H, Tohid H, Mohd Amin R, Long Bidin MB, Muthupalaniappen L, Omar K
    BMC Fam Pract, 2013;14:164.
    PMID: 24164794 DOI: 10.1186/1471-2296-14-164
    BACKGROUND: Many Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus (T2DM) patients refuse insulin therapy even when they require this modality of treatment. However, some eventually accept insulin. This study aimed to explore the T2DM patients' reasons for accepting insulin therapy and their initial barriers to use insulin.
    METHODS: This qualitative study interviewed twenty-one T2DM patients at a primary care clinic who had been on insulin for more than a year through three in-depth interviews and three focus group discussions. A semi structured interview protocol was used and the sessions were audio-recorded. Subsequently, thematic analysis was conducted to identify major themes.
    RESULTS: The participants' acceptance of insulin was influenced by their concerns and beliefs about diabetes and insulin. Concerns about complications of poorly controlled diabetes and side effects of other treatment regime had resulted in insulin acceptance among the participants. They also had a strong belief in insulin benefits and effectiveness. These concerns and beliefs were the results of having good knowledge about the diabetes and insulin, experiential learning, as well as doctors' practical and emotional support that helped them to accept insulin therapy and become efficient in self-care management. These factors also allayed their negative concerns and beliefs towards diabetes and insulin, which were their barriers for insulin acceptance as it caused fear to use insulin. These negative concerns were related to injection (self-injection, needle phobia, injection pain), and insulin use (inconvenience, embarrassment, lifestyle restriction, negative social stigma, and poor self-efficacy), whereas the negative beliefs were 'insulin could cause organ damage', 'their diabetes was not serious enough', 'insulin is for life-long', and 'insulin is for more severe disease only'.
    CONCLUSIONS: Exploring patients' concerns and beliefs about diabetes and insulin is crucial to assist physicians in delivering patient-centered care. By understanding this, physicians could address their concerns with aim to modify their patients' misconceptions towards insulin therapy. In addition, continuous educations as well as practical and emotional support from others were found to be valuable for insulin acceptance.
    TRIAL REGISTRATION: Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia FF-214-2009.
    Study site: Primary Care clinic, Pusat Perubatan Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (PPUKM), Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  3. 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.
  4. Khoo EM, Lee WK, Sararaks S, Abdul Samad A, Liew SM, Cheong AT, et al.
    BMC Fam Pract, 2012;13:127.
    PMID: 23267547 DOI: 10.1186/1471-2296-13-127
    Patient safety is vital in patient care. There is a lack of studies on medical errors in primary care settings. The aim of the study is to determine the extent of diagnostic inaccuracies and management errors in public funded primary care clinics.
  5. Kaur G, Tee GH, Ariaratnam S, Krishnapillai AS, China K
    BMC Fam Pract, 2013;14:69.
    PMID: 23710584 DOI: 10.1186/1471-2296-14-69
    Diabetes mellitus is a highly prevalent condition in Malaysia, increasing from 11.6% in 2006 to 15.2% in 2011 among individuals 18 years and above. Co-morbid depression in diabetics is associated with hyperglycemia, diabetic complications and increased health care costs. The aims of this study are to determine the prevalence and predictors of depression, anxiety and stress symptoms in Type II diabetics attending government primary care facilities in the urban area of Klang Valley, Malaysia.
  6. Arabi Z, Aziz NA, Abdul Aziz AF, Razali R, Wan Puteh SE
    BMC Fam Pract, 2013;14:49.
    PMID: 23586732 DOI: 10.1186/1471-2296-14-49
    BACKGROUND: Worldwide, the population is ageing, resulting in an associated increase in dementia prevalence. Forgetfulness in elderly people is often perceived as normal in some local cultures and thus, the early detection of dementia in primary care requires detection of symptoms other than memory complaints.This study was conducted to screen elderly patients for early dementia in primary care using a newly developed Early Dementia Questionnaire (EDQ) and comparing it with a standard assessment tool, the Mini Mental State Examination (MMSE).
    METHODS: A cross-sectional study was conducted on a group of elderly patients using convenience sampling of consecutive patients. Elderly depression was excluded using the Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS). Exclusion criteria also included known cases of dementia. Inclusion criteria included a score of 5 or less in GDS and the presence of a reliable informant. A face-to-face interview was done using the EDQ with the patient and informant to elicit symptoms of early dementia. If the informant was not present, a telephone interview was used instead. The patient was then assessed with the Mini Mental State Examination (MMSE) using a cut-off point of 21.
    RESULTS: Prevalence of dementia among 155 subjects was 52.3% by EDQ and 15.5% by MMSE. The EDQ demonstrated a sensitivity of 79.2% with specificity of 52.7%. Positive predictive value (PPV) of EDQ was 23.5% with the negative predictive value (NPV) of 93.2%. The strongest predictor of possible early dementia was complaints of memory problems (OR 26.22; 95% CI 2.03-338.14) followed by complaints of concentration problems (OR 14.33; 95% CI 5.53-37.12), emotional problems (OR 4.75; 95% CI 1.64-13.81) and sleep disturbances (OR 3.14; 95% CI 1.15-8.56). Socio-demographic factors, medical problems and smoking status were not associated with possible dementia (p>0.05), despite that 60-70% of the elderly had chronic illnesses.
    CONCLUSION: The EDQ is a promising alternative to MMSE for screening of early dementia in primary care.
  7. Lee YK, Lee PY, Ng CJ
    BMC Fam Pract, 2012;13:28.
    PMID: 22469132 DOI: 10.1186/1471-2296-13-28
    BACKGROUND: Nationwide surveys have shown that the prevalence of diabetes rates in Malaysia have almost doubled in the past ten years; yet diabetes control remains poor and insulin therapy is underutilized. This study aimed to explore healthcare professionals' views on barriers to starting insulin therapy in people with type 2 diabetes.
    METHODS: Healthcare professionals consisting of general practitioners (n = 11), family medicine specialists (n = 10), medical officers (n = 8), government policy makers (n = 4), diabetes educators (n = 3) and endocrinologists (n = 2) were interviewed. A semi-structured topic guide was used to guide the interviews by trained facilitators. The interviews were transcribed verbatim and analysed using a thematic analysis approach.
    RESULTS: Insulin initiation was found to be affected by patient, healthcare professional and system factors. Patients' barriers include culture-specific barriers such as the religious purity of insulin, preferred use of complementary medication and perceived lethality of insulin therapy. Healthcare professionals' barriers include negative attitudes towards insulin therapy and the 'legacy effect' of old insulin guidelines; whilst system barriers highlight the lack of resources, language and communication challenges.
    CONCLUSIONS: Tackling the issue of insulin initiation should not only happen during clinical consultations. It requires health education to emphasise the progressive nature of diabetes and the eventuality of insulin therapy at early stage of the illness. Healthcare professionals should be trained how to initiate insulin and communicate effectively with patients from various cultural and religious backgrounds.
    Study site: healthcare professionals who provided diabetes care in the three healthcare settings in Malaysia: the government health clinics (Klinik Kesihatan); government university-based primary care clinic and hospital; and private general practice (GP) clinics and hospitals
  8. Selvaraj FJ, Mohamed M, Omar K, Nanthan S, Kusiar Z, Subramaniam SY, et al.
    BMC Fam Pract, 2012;13:97.
    PMID: 23046818 DOI: 10.1186/1471-2296-13-97
    BACKGROUND: To evaluate the efficacy of Counselling and Advisory Care for Health (COACH) programme in managing dyslipidaemia among primary care practices in Malaysia. This open-label, parallel, randomised controlled trial compared the COACH programme delivered by primary care physicians alone (PCP arm) and primary care physicians assisted by nurse educators (PCP-NE arm).
    METHODS: This was a multi-centre, open label, randomised trial of a disease management programme (COACH) among dyslipidaemic patients in 21 Malaysia primary care practices. The participating centres enrolled 297 treatment naïve subjects who had the primary diagnosis of dyslipidaemia; 149 were randomised to the COACH programme delivered by primary care physicians assisted by nurse educators (PCP-NE) and 148 to care provided by primary care physicians (PCP) alone. The primary efficacy endpoint was the mean percentage change from baseline LDL-C at week 24 between the 2 study arms. Secondary endpoints included mean percentage change from baseline of lipid profile (TC, LDL-C, HDL-C, TG, TC: HDL ratio), Framingham Cardiovascular Health Risk Score and absolute risk change from baseline in blood pressure parameters at week 24. The study also assessed the sustainability of programme efficacy at week 36.
    RESULTS: Both study arms demonstrated improvement in LDL-C from baseline. The least squares (LS) mean change from baseline LDL-C were -30.09% and -27.54% for PCP-NE and PCP respectively. The difference in mean change between groups was 2.55% (p=0.288), with a greater change seen in the PCP-NE arm. Similar observations were made between the study groups in relation to total cholesterol change at week 24. Significant difference in percentage change from baseline of HDL-C were observed between the PCP-NE and PCP groups, 3.01%, 95% CI 0.12-5.90, p=0.041, at week 24. There was no significant difference in lipid outcomes between 2 study groups at week 36 (12 weeks after the programme had ended).
    CONCLUSION: Patients who received coaching and advice from primary care physicians (with or without the assistance by nurse educators) showed improvement in LDL-cholesterol. Disease management services delivered by PCP-NE demonstrated a trend towards add-on improvements in cholesterol control compared to care delivered by physicians alone; however, the improvements were not maintained when the services were withdrawn.
    National Medical Research Registration (NMRR) Number: NMRR-08-287-1442Trial Registration Number (ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier): NCT00708370.
  9. Abdullah A, Othman S
    BMC Fam Pract, 2011;12:143.
    PMID: 22208768 DOI: 10.1186/1471-2296-12-143
    Home blood pressure monitoring (HBPM) is gaining popularity among hypertensive patients. This study aimed to explore the influence of self-initiated HBPM on primary care patients with hypertension.
    Six in-depth interviews and two focus group discussions were conducted, taking into consideration the experiences of 24 primary care patients with hypertension. These patients had been using HBPM as part of their hypertension management. The overriding influences were grouped under themes which emerged from analyzing the data using the grounded theory approach.
    There are both positive and negative influences of self-initiated HBPM. Patients used the readings of their HBPM to decide on many aspects of their hypertension management. The HBPM readings both influenced their adherence to diet and exercise and provided certain reassurance when they experienced symptoms. In addition, the act of discussing their HBPM readings with their health care providers resulted in an enhanced doctor-patient therapeutic relationship. Nevertheless, HBPM created confusion at times in some patients, particularly with regard to the target blood pressure level and the need for medication. This led to some patients making their own medical decisions based on their own standards.
    HBPM is becoming an integral part of hypertension management. Primary care patients who self-initiated HBPM reported being more self-efficacious, but lack of participation and guidance from their doctors created confusion, and hindered the true benefit of HBPM.

    Study site: urban primary care clinic, located within the University Malaya Medical Centre
  10. Tong SF, Low WY, Ismail SB, Trevena L, Willcock S
    BMC Fam Pract, 2011;12:29.
    PMID: 21569395 DOI: 10.1186/1471-2296-12-29
    BACKGROUND: Men have been noted to utilise health care services less readily then women. Primary care settings provide an opportunity to engage men in health care activities because of close proximity to the target group (men in the community). Understanding attitudes towards men's health among Malaysian primary care doctors is important for the effective delivery of health services to men. We aimed to explore the opinions and attitudes of primary care doctors (PCDs) relating to men's health and help-seeking behaviour.
    METHODS: A qualitative approach to explore the opinions of 52 PCDs was employed, using fourteen in-depth interviews and eight focus group discussions in public and private settings. Purposive sampling of PCDs was done to ensure maximum variation in the PCD sample. Interviews were recorded and transcribed verbatim for analysis. Open coding with thematic analysis was used to identify key issues raised in the interview.
    RESULTS: The understanding of the concept of men's health among PCDs was fragmented. Although many PCDs were already managing health conditions relevant and common to men, they were not viewed by PCDs as "men's health". Less attention was paid to men's help-seeking behaviour and their gender roles as a potential determinant of the poor health status of men. There were opposing views about whether men's health should focus on men's overall health or a more focused approach to sexual health. There was also disagreement about whether special attention was warranted for men's health services. Some doctors would prioritise more common conditions such as hypertension, diabetes and hypercholesterolaemia.
    CONCLUSIONS: The concept of men's health was new to PCDs in Malaysia. There was wide variation in understanding and opposing attitudes towards men's health among primary care doctors. Creating awareness and having a systematic approach would facilitate PCDs in delivering health service to men.
  11. Chia YC, Lim HM, Ching SM
    BMC Fam Pract, 2014;15:172.
    PMID: 25388219 DOI: 10.1186/s12875-014-0172-y
    BACKGROUND: Initiation of statin therapy as primary prevention particularly in those with mildly elevated cardiovascular disease risk factors is still being debated. The 2013 ACC/AHA blood cholesterol guideline recommends initiation of statin by estimating the 10-year atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD) risk using the new pooled cohort risk score. This paper examines the use of the pooled cohort risk score and compares it to actual use of statins in daily clinical practice in a primary care setting.
    METHODS: We examined the use of statins in a randomly selected sample of patients in a primary care clinic. The demographic data and cardiovascular risk parameters were captured from patient records in 1998. The pooled cohort risk score was calculated based on the parameters in 1998. The use of statins in 1998 and 2007, a 10-year interval, was recorded.
    RESULTS: A total of 847 patients were entered into the analysis. Mean age of the patients was 57.2 ± 8.4 years and 33.1% were male. The use of statins in 1998 was only 10.2% (n = 86) as compared to 67.5% (n = 572) in 2007. For patients with LDL 70-189 mg/dl and estimated 10-year ASCVD risk ≥7.5% (n = 190), 60% (n = 114) of patients were on statin therapy by 2007. There were 124 patients in whom statin therapy was not recommended according to ACC/AHA guideline but were actually receiving statin therapy.
    CONCLUSIONS: An extra 40% of patients need to be treated with statin if the 2013 ACC/AHA blood cholesterol guideline is used. However the absolute number of patients who needed to be treated based on the ACC/AHA guideline is lower than the number of patients actually receiving it in a daily clinical practice. The pooled cohort risk score does not increase the absolute number of patients who are actually treated with statins. However these findings and the use of the pooled cohort risk score need to be validated further.
    Study site: Primary care clinic, University Malaya Medical Centre (UMMC), Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  12. Ramli AS, Lakshmanan S, Haniff J, Selvarajah S, Tong SF, Bujang MA, et al.
    BMC Fam Pract, 2014;15:151.
    PMID: 25218689 DOI: 10.1186/1471-2296-15-151
    Chronic disease management presents enormous challenges to the primary care workforce because of the rising epidemic of cardiovascular risk factors. The chronic care model was proven effective in improving chronic disease outcomes in developed countries, but there is little evidence of its effectiveness in developing countries. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of the EMPOWER-PAR intervention (multifaceted chronic disease management strategies based on the chronic care model) in improving outcomes for type 2 diabetes mellitus and hypertension using readily available resources in the Malaysian public primary care setting. This paper presents the study protocol.
  13. Chia YC, Ching SM
    BMC Fam Pract, 2014;15:131.
    PMID: 24997591 DOI: 10.1186/1471-2296-15-131
    Patients with resistant hypertension are subjected to a higher risk of getting stroke, myocardial infarction, congestive heart failure and renal failure. However, the exact prevalence of resistant hypertension in treated hypertensive patients in Malaysia is not known. This paper examines the prevalence and determinants of resistant hypertension in a sample of hypertensive patients.

    Study site: Primary care clinic, Universiti Malaya Medical Centre
  14. Wong SS, Abdullah N, Abdullah A, Liew SM, Ching SM, Khoo EM, et al.
    BMC Fam Pract, 2014;15:67.
    PMID: 24739595 DOI: 10.1186/1471-2296-15-67
    BACKGROUND: Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is a chronic disease with repeated exacerbations resulting in gradual debilitation. The quality of life has been shown to be poor in patients with COPD despite efforts to improve self-management. However, the evidence on the benefit of self-management in COPD is conflicting. Whether this could be due to other unmet needs of patients have not been investigated. Therefore, we aimed to explore unmet needs of patients from both patients and doctors managing COPD.
    METHODS: We conducted a qualitative study with doctors and patients in Malaysia. We used convenience sampling to recruit patients until data saturation. Eighteen patients and eighteen doctors consented and were interviewed using a semi-structured interview guide. The interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed verbatim and checked by the interviewers. Data were analysed using a thematic approach.
    RESULTS: The themes were similar for both the patients and doctors. Three main themes emerged: knowledge and awareness of COPD, psychosocial and physical impact of COPD and the utility of self-management. Knowledge about COPD was generally poor. Patients were not familiar with the term chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or COPD. The word 'asthma' was used synonymously with COPD by both patients and doctors. Most patients experienced difficulties in their psychosocial and physical functions such as breathlessness, fear and helplessness. Most patients were not confident in self-managing their illness and prefer a more passive role with doctors directing their care.
    CONCLUSIONS: In conclusion, our study showed that knowledge of COPD is generally poor. There was mislabelling of COPD as asthma by both patients and physicians. This could have resulted in the lack of understanding of treatment options, outcomes, and prognosis of COPD. The misconception that cough due to COPD was contagious, and breathlessness that resulted from COPD, had important physical and psychosocial impact, and could lead to social isolation. Most patients and physicians did not favour self-management approaches, suggesting innovations based on self-management may be of limited benefit.
  15. Abdul Aziz AF, Mohd Nordin NA, Abd Aziz N, Abdullah S, Sulong S, Aljunid SM
    BMC Fam Pract, 2014;15:40.
    PMID: 24580779 DOI: 10.1186/1471-2296-15-40
    BACKGROUND: Provision of post stroke care in developing countries is hampered by discoordination of services and limited access to specialised care. Albeit shortcomings, primary care continues to provide post-stroke services in less than favourable circumstances. This paper aimed to review provision of post-stroke care and related problems among Family Medicine Specialists managing public primary health care services.
    METHODS: A semi-structured questionnaire was distributed to 121 Family Physicians servicing public funded health centres in a pilot survey focused on improving post stroke care provision at community level. The questionnaire assessed respondents background and practice details i.e. estimated stroke care burden, current service provision and opinion on service improvement. Means and frequencies described quantitative data. For qualitative data, constant comparison method was used until saturation of themes was reached.
    RESULTS: Response rate of 48.8% was obtained. For every 100 patients seen at public healthcentres each month, 2 patients have stroke. Median number of stroke patients seen per month is 5 (IQR 2-10). 57.6% of respondents estimated total stroke patients treated per year at each centre was less than 40 patients. 72.4% lacked a standard care plan although 96.6% agreed one was needed. Patients seen were: discharged from tertiary care (88.1%), shared care plan with specialists (67.8%) and patients who developed stroke during follow up at primary care (64.4%). Follow-ups were done at 8-12 weekly intervals (60.3%) with 3.4% on 'as needed' basis. Referrals ranked in order of frequency were to physiotherapy services, dietitian and speech and language pathologists in public facilities. The FMS' perceived 4 important 'needs' in managing stroke patients at primary care level; access to rehabilitation services, coordinated care between tertiary centres and primary care using multidisciplinary care approach, a standardized guideline and family and caregiver support.
    CONCLUSIONS: Post discharge stroke care guidelines and access to rehabilitation services at primary care is needed for post stroke patients residing at home in the community.
  16. Chin YW, Lai PS, Chia YC
    BMC Fam Pract, 2017 02 20;18(1):25.
    PMID: 28219325 DOI: 10.1186/s12875-017-0601-9
    BACKGROUND: Several disease specific instruments have been developed to identify and assess diabetes distress. In Malaysia, the Problem Areas in Diabetes Scale has been validated in Malay, but it does not have specific domains to assess the different areas of diabetes-related distress. Hence, we decided to use the Diabetes Distress Scale instead. To date, only the Malay version of the Diabetes Distress Scale has been validated in Malaysia. However, English is widely spoken by Malaysians, and is an important second language in Malaysia. Therefore, our aim was to determine the validity and reliability of the English version of the Diabetes Distress Scale among patients with type 2 diabetes in Malaysia.

    METHODS: The Diabetes Distress Scale was administered to 114 patients with type 2 diabetes, who could understand English, at baseline and 4 weeks later, at a primary care clinic in Malaysia. To assess for convergent validity, the Depression Anxiety Stress Scale was administered at baseline. Discriminative validity was assessed by analysing the total diabetes distress scores of participants with poor (HbA1c > 7.0%) and good glycaemic control (HbA1c ≤ 7.0%).

    RESULTS: The majority of our participants were male 65(57.0%), with a median duration of diabetes of 9.5 years. Exploratory factor analysis showed that the Diabetes Distress Scale had 4 subscales, as per the original Diabetes Distress Scale. The overall Cronbach's α was 0.920 (range = 0.784-0.859 for each subscale). The intraclass correlation ranged from 0.436 to 0.643 for test-retest. The Diabetes Distress Scale subscales were significantly correlated with the different subscales of the Depression Anxiety Stress Scale (spearman's rho range = 0.427-0.509, p 
  17. Cheong AT, Liew SM, Khoo EM, Mohd Zaidi NF, Chinna K
    BMC Fam Pract, 2017 Jan 17;18(1):4.
    PMID: 28095788 DOI: 10.1186/s12875-016-0579-8
    BACKGROUND: Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death globally. However, many individuals are unaware of their CVD risk factors. The objective of this systematic review is to determine the effectiveness of existing intervention strategies to increase uptake of CVD risk factors screening.

    METHODS: A systematic search was conducted through Pubmed, CINAHL, EMBASE and Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials. Additional articles were located through cross-checking of the references list and bibliography citations of the included studies and previous review papers. We included intervention studies with controlled or baseline comparison groups that were conducted in primary care practices or the community, targeted at adult populations (randomized controlled trials, non-randomized trials with controlled groups and pre- and post-intervention studies). The interventions were targeted either at individuals, communities, health care professionals or the health-care system. The main outcome of interest was the relative risk (RR) of screening uptake rates due to the intervention.

    RESULTS: We included 21 studies in the meta-analysis. The risk of bias for randomization was low to medium in the randomized controlled trials, except for one, and high in the non-randomized trials. Two analyses were performed; optimistic (using the highest effect sizes) and pessimistic (using the lowest effect sizes). Overall, interventions were shown to increase the uptake of screening for CVD risk factors (RR 1.443; 95% CI 1.264 to 1.648 for pessimistic analysis and RR 1.680; 95% CI 1.420 to 1.988 for optimistic analysis). Effective interventions that increased screening participation included: use of physician reminders (RR ranged between 1.392; 95% CI 1.192 to 1.625, and 1.471; 95% CI 1.304 to 1.660), use of dedicated personnel (RR ranged between 1.510; 95% CI 1.014 to 2.247, and 2.536; 95% CI 1.297 to 4.960) and provision of financial incentives for screening (RR 1.462; 95% CI 1.068 to 2.000). Meta-regression analysis showed that the effect of CVD risk factors screening uptake was not associated with study design, types of population nor types of interventions.

    CONCLUSIONS: Interventions using physician reminders, using dedicated personnel to deliver screening, and provision of financial incentives were found to be effective in increasing CVD risk factors screening uptake.

  18. Ramli AS, Selvarajah S, Daud MH, Haniff J, Abdul-Razak S, Tg-Abu-Bakar-Sidik TM, et al.
    BMC Fam Pract, 2016 11 14;17(1):157.
    PMID: 27842495
    BACKGROUND: The chronic care model was proven effective in improving clinical outcomes of diabetes in developed countries. However, evidence in developing countries is scarce. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of EMPOWER-PAR intervention (based on the chronic care model) in improving clinical outcomes for type 2 diabetes mellitus using readily available resources in the Malaysian public primary care setting.

    METHODS: This was a pragmatic, cluster-randomised, parallel, matched pair, controlled trial using participatory action research approach, conducted in 10 public primary care clinics in Malaysia. Five clinics were randomly selected to provide the EMPOWER-PAR intervention for 1 year and another five clinics continued with usual care. Patients who fulfilled the criteria were recruited over a 2-week period by each clinic. The obligatory intervention components were designed based on four elements of the chronic care model i.e. healthcare organisation, delivery system design, self-management support and decision support. The primary outcome was the change in the proportion of patients achieving HbA1c 
  19. Hisham R, Ng CJ, Liew SM, Lai PSM, Chia YC, Khoo EM, et al.
    BMC Fam Pract, 2018 06 23;19(1):98.
    PMID: 29935527 DOI: 10.1186/s12875-018-0779-5
    BACKGROUND: Evidence-Based Medicine (EBM) integrates best available evidence from literature and patients' values, which then informs clinical decision making. However, there is a lack of validated instruments to assess the knowledge, practice and barriers of primary care physicians in the implementation of EBM. This study aimed to develop and validate an Evidence-Based Medicine Questionnaire (EBMQ) in Malaysia.

    METHODS: The EBMQ was developed based on a qualitative study, literature review and an expert panel. Face and content validity was verified by the expert panel and piloted among 10 participants. Primary care physicians with or without EBM training who could understand English were recruited from December 2015 to January 2016. The EBMQ was administered at baseline and two weeks later. A higher score indicates better knowledge, better practice of EBM and less barriers towards the implementation of EBM. We hypothesized that the EBMQ would have three domains: knowledge, practice and barriers.

    RESULTS: The final version of the EBMQ consists of 80 items: 62 items were measured on a nominal scale, 22 items were measured on a 5 point Likert-scale. Flesch reading ease was 61.2. A total of 343 participants were approached; of whom 320 agreed to participate (response rate = 93.2%). Factor analysis revealed that the EBMQ had eight domains after 13 items were removed: "EBM websites", "evidence-based journals", "types of studies", "terms related to EBM", "practice", "access", "patient preferences" and "support". Cronbach alpha for the overall EBMQ was 0.909, whilst the Cronbach alpha for the individual domain ranged from 0.657-0.940. The EBMQ was able to discriminate between doctors with and without EBM training for 24 out of 42 items. At test-retest, kappa values ranged from 0.155 to 0.620.

    CONCLUSIONS: The EBMQ was found to be a valid and reliable instrument to assess the knowledge, practice and barriers towards the implementation of EBM among primary care physicians in Malaysia.

  20. Pan DS, Huang JH, Lee MH, Yu Y, Chen MI, Goh EH, et al.
    BMC Fam Pract, 2016 11 03;17(1):148.
    PMID: 27809770 DOI: 10.1186/s12875-016-0547-3
    BACKGROUND: Patients' expectations can influence antibiotic prescription by primary healthcare physicians. We assessed knowledge, attitude and practices towards antibiotic use for upper respiratory tract infections (URTIs), and whether knowledge is associated with increased expectations for antibiotics among patients visiting primary healthcare services in Singapore.

    METHODS: Data was collected through a cross-sectional interviewer-assisted survey of patients aged ≥21 years waiting to see primary healthcare practitioners for one or more symptoms suggestive of URTI (cough, sore throat, runny nose or blocked nose) for 7 days or less, covering the demographics, presenting symptoms, knowledge, attitudes, beliefs and practices of URTI and associated antibiotic use. Univariate and multivariate logistic regression was used to assess independent factors associated with patients' expectations for antibiotics.

    RESULTS: Nine hundred fourteen out of 987 eligible patients consulting 35 doctors were recruited from 24 private sector primary care clinics in Singapore. A third (307/907) expected antibiotics, of which a substantial proportion would ask the doctor for antibiotics (121/304, 40 %) and/or see another doctor (31/304, 10 %) if antibiotics were not prescribed. The majority agreed "antibiotics are effective against viruses" (715/914, 78 %) and that "antibiotics cure URTI faster" (594/912, 65 %). Inappropriate antibiotic practices include "keeping antibiotics stock at home" (125/913, 12 %), "taking leftover antibiotics" (114/913, 14 %) and giving antibiotics to family members (62/913, 7 %). On multivariate regression, the following factors were independently associated with wanting antibiotics (odds ratio; 95 % confidence interval): Malay ethnicity (1.67; 1.00-2.79), living in private housing (1.69; 1.13-2.51), presence of sore throat (1.50; 1.07-2.10) or fever (1.46; 1.01-2.12), perception that illness is serious (1.70; 1.27-2.27), belief that antibiotics cure URTI faster (5.35; 3.76-7.62) and not knowing URTI resolves on its own (2.18; 1.08-2.06), while post-secondary education (0.67; 0.48-0.94) was inversely associated. Those with lower educational levels were significantly more likely to have multiple misconceptions about antibiotics.

    CONCLUSION: Majority of patients seeking primary health care in Singapore are misinformed about the role of antibiotics in URTI. Agreeing with the statement that antibiotics cure URTI faster was most strongly associated with wanting antibiotics. Those with higher educational levels were less likely to want antibiotics, while those with lower educational levels more likely to have incorrect knowledge.
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