Displaying publications 1 - 20 of 113 in total

  1. Tong WT, Vethakkan SR, Ng CJ
    BMJ Open, 2015 Jan 29;5(1):e006407.
    PMID: 25633285 DOI: 10.1136/bmjopen-2014-006407
    OBJECTIVE: To explore factors influencing poor glycaemic control in people with type 2 diabetes using insulin.
    RESEARCH DESIGN: A qualitative method comprising in-depth individual interviews. A semistructured interview guide was used. The interviews were audiorecorded, transcribed verbatim and analysed using a thematic approach.
    PARTICIPANTS: Seventeen people with type 2 diabetes using insulin with glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c) ≥9% for >1 year.
    SETTING: The Primary Care Clinic and Diabetes Clinic in the University of Malaya Medical Centre (UMMC), Malaysia.
    RESULTS: Data analysis uncovered four themes: lifestyle challenges in adhering to medical recommendations; psychosocial and emotional hurdles; treatment-related factors; lack of knowledge about and self-efficacy in diabetes self-care.
    CONCLUSIONS: Factors that explain the poor glycaemic control in people with type 2 diabetes using insulin were identified. Healthcare providers could use these findings to address patients' concerns during consultations and help to improve glycaemic control.
    Study site: Primary Care Clinic and Diabetes Clinic, University Malaya Medical Centre (UMMC), Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  2. Lee CC, Harun F, Jalaludin MY, Heh CH, Othman R, Junit SM
    BMJ Open, 2015 Jan 05;5(1):e006121.
    PMID: 25564141 DOI: 10.1136/bmjopen-2014-006121
    OBJECTIVES: The c.2268dup mutation in the thyroid peroxidase (TPO) gene is the most common TPO alteration reported in Taiwanese patients with thyroid dyshormonogenesis. The ancestors of these patients are believed to originate from the southern province of China. Our previous study showed that this mutation leads to reduced abundance of the TPO protein and loss of TPO enzyme activity in a Malaysian-Chinese family with goitrous hypothyroidism. The aim of our study was to provide further data on the incidence of the c.2268dup mutation in a cohort of Malaysian-Chinese and its possible phenotypic effects.

    SETTING: Cohort study.

    PARTICIPANTS: Twelve biologically unrelated Malaysian-Chinese patients with congenital hypothyroidism were recruited in this study. All patients showed high thyrotropin and low free thyroxine levels at the time of diagnosis with proven presence of a thyroid gland.

    PRIMARY OUTCOME MEASURE: Screening of the c.2268dup mutation in the TPO gene in all patients was carried out using a PCR-direct DNA sequencing method.

    SECONDARY OUTCOME MEASURE: Further screening for mutations in other exonic regions of the TPO gene was carried out if the patient was a carrier of the c.2268dup mutation.

    RESULTS: The c.2268dup mutation was detected in 4 of the 12 patients. Apart from the c.2268dup and a previously documented mutation (c.2647C>T), two novel TPO alterations, c.670_672del and c.1186C>T, were also detected in our patients. In silico analyses predicted that the novel alterations affect the structure/function of the TPO protein.

    CONCLUSIONS: The c.2268dup mutation was detected in approximately one-third of the Malaysian-Chinese patients with thyroid dyshormonogenesis. The detection of the novel c.670_672del and c.1186C>T alterations expand the mutation spectrum of TPO associated with thyroid dyshormonogenesis.

  3. Zaman Huri H, Lian Choo T, Sulaiman CZ, Mark R, Abdul Razack AH
    BMJ Open, 2014;4(7):e005381.
    PMID: 25001396 DOI: 10.1136/bmjopen-2014-005381
    OBJECTIVE: To investigate factors associated with demographic/clinical characteristics and drug selection in patients with erectile dysfunction (ED). The prevalence of ED is increasing worldwide. Studies have shown that ED is associated with age, lifestyle and comorbidities. However, the factors associated with patient characteristics as well as drug selection are incompletely understood.
    SETTING: A tertiary medical centre in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
    PARTICIPANTS: A total of 219 patients (range 23-80 years) who had received phosphodiesterase type-5 (PDE-5) inhibitors as ED treatment were evaluated.
    INCLUSION CRITERIA: Adult patients aged ≥18 years, diagnosed with ED, and prescribed with sildenafil, tadalafil or vardenafil.
    EXCLUSION CRITERIA: Patients diagnosed with ED but who did not receive any PDE-5 inhibitor, or those with missing data.
    PRIMARY AND SECONDARY OUTCOME MEASURES: Factors associated with demographic and clinical characteristics as well as drug selection were assessed.
    RESULTS: Ischaemic heart disease (p=0.025), benign prostatic hyperplasia (p<0.001), obesity (p=0.005), lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) (p=0.006) and α-blockers (p<0.001) were significantly associated with elderly patients with ED. Additionally, LUTS (p=0.038) and α-blockers (p=0.008) were significantly associated with the selection of PDE-5 inhibitor.
    CONCLUSIONS: These data showed that elderly patients with ED were significantly associated with comorbidities and α-blockers, whereas LUTS and α blockers were associated with drug selection.
    KEYWORDS: alpha blocker; drug treatments; lower urinary tract symptoms; phosphodiesterase type-5 inhibitor
  4. Lau TP, Roslani AC, Lian LH, Chai HC, Lee PC, Hilmi I, et al.
    BMJ Open, 2014;4(8):e004930.
    PMID: 25107436 DOI: 10.1136/bmjopen-2014-004930
    To characterise the mRNA expression patterns of early and advanced stage colorectal adenocarcinomas of Malaysian patients.
  5. Grigg MJ, William T, Drakeley CJ, Jelip J, von Seidlein L, Barber BE, et al.
    BMJ Open, 2014 Aug 22;4(8):e006004.
    PMID: 25149186 DOI: 10.1136/bmjopen-2014-006004
    INTRODUCTION: Plasmodium knowlesi has long been present in Malaysia, and is now an emerging cause of zoonotic human malaria. Cases have been confirmed throughout South-East Asia where the ranges of its natural macaque hosts and Anopheles leucosphyrus group vectors overlap. The majority of cases are from Eastern Malaysia, with increasing total public health notifications despite a concurrent reduction in Plasmodium falciparum and P. vivax malaria. The public health implications are concerning given P. knowlesi has the highest risk of severe and fatal disease of all Plasmodium spp in Malaysia. Current patterns of risk and disease vary based on vector type and competence, with individual exposure risks related to forest and forest-edge activities still poorly defined. Clustering of cases has not yet been systematically evaluated despite reports of peri-domestic transmission and known vector competence for human-to-human transmission.

    METHODS AND ANALYSIS: A population-based case-control study will be conducted over a 2-year period at two adjacent districts in north-west Sabah, Malaysia. Confirmed malaria cases presenting to the district hospital sites meeting relevant inclusion criteria will be requested to enrol. Three community controls matched to the same village as the case will be selected randomly. Study procedures will include blood sampling and administration of household and individual questionnaires to evaluate potential exposure risks associated with acquisition of P. knowlesi malaria. Secondary outcomes will include differences in exposure variables between P. knowlesi and other Plasmodium spp, risk of severe P. knowlesi malaria, and evaluation of P. knowlesi case clustering. Primary analysis will be per protocol, with adjusted ORs for exposure risks between cases and controls calculated using conditional multiple logistic regression models.

    ETHICS: This study has been approved by the human research ethics committees of Malaysia, the Menzies School of Health Research, Australia, and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, UK.

  6. Grigg MJ, William T, Dhanaraj P, Menon J, Barber BE, von Seidlein L, et al.
    BMJ Open, 2014 Aug 19;4(8):e006005.
    PMID: 25138814 DOI: 10.1136/bmjopen-2014-006005
    INTRODUCTION: Malaria due to Plasmodium knowlesi is reported throughout South-East Asia, and is the commonest cause of it in Malaysia. P. knowlesi replicates every 24 h and can cause severe disease and death. Current 2010 WHO Malaria Treatment Guidelines have no recommendations for the optimal treatment of non-severe knowlesi malaria. Artemisinin-combination therapies (ACT) and chloroquine have each been successfully used to treat knowlesi malaria; however, the rapidity of parasite clearance has not been prospectively compared. Malaysia's national policy for malaria pre-elimination involves mandatory hospital admission for confirmed malaria cases with discharge only after two negative blood films; use of a more rapidly acting antimalarial agent would have health cost benefits. P. knowlesi is commonly microscopically misreported as P. malariae, P. falciparum or P. vivax, with a high proportion of the latter two species being chloroquine-resistant in Malaysia. A unified ACT-treatment protocol would provide effective blood stage malaria treatment for all Plasmodium species.

    METHODS AND ANALYSIS: ACT KNOW, the first randomised controlled trial ever performed in knowlesi malaria, is a two-arm open-label trial with enrolments over a 2-year period at three district sites in Sabah, powered to show a difference in proportion of patients negative for malaria by microscopy at 24 h between treatment arms (clinicaltrials.gov #NCT01708876). Enrolments started in December 2012, with completion expected by September 2014. A total sample size of 228 is required to give 90% power (α 0.05) to determine the primary end point using intention-to-treat analysis. Secondary end points include parasite clearance time, rates of recurrent infection/treatment failure to day 42, gametocyte carriage throughout follow-up and rates of anaemia at day 28, as determined by survival analysis.

    ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: This study has been approved by relevant institutional ethics committees in Malaysia and Australia. Results will be disseminated to inform knowlesi malaria treatment policy in this region through peer-reviewed publications and academic presentations.


  7. Feletti F, Goin J
    BMJ Open, 2014;4(8):e005508.
    PMID: 25168039 DOI: 10.1136/bmjopen-2014-005508
    Powered paragliding (PPG) and paragliding are two totally different sports, mainly because of the use of an engine in powered paragliding. As a consequence, the pattern of injuries caused by each of these two sports may be different.
  8. Haque SE, Rahman M, Itsuko K, Mutahara M, Sakisaka K
    BMJ Open, 2014;4(7):e004607.
    PMID: 24993753 DOI: 10.1136/bmjopen-2013-004607
    OBJECTIVES: To assess the impact of a school-based menstrual education programme on: (1) menstrual knowledge, beliefs and practices, (2) menstrual disorders experienced, and (3) restrictions on menstruating adolescents.
    DESIGN: Intervention study.
    SETTING: Araihazar area, Bangladesh.
    PARTICIPANTS: 416 adolescent female students aged 11-16 years, in grade 6-8, and living with their parents.
    INTERVENTIONS: A school-based health education study conducted from April 2012 to April 2013.
    We randomly selected 3 of 26 high schools in the study area. We delivered 6 months of educational intervention by trained (by an obstetrician and gynaecologist) research assistants (RAs) on menstrual hygiene among school girls. RAs read the questionnaire and participants answered. The changes in knowledge, beliefs and practices regarding menstruation, menstrual disorders experienced, and the restrictions and behaviours practiced by menstruating adolescents were compared between the baseline and the follow-up assessments.
    RESULTS: After health education, participants reported a significant improvement (p<0.001) in 'high knowledge and beliefs' scores compared to baseline (51% vs 82.4%). Significant improvement was also observed in overall good menstrual practices (28.8% vs 88.9%), including improvements in using sanitary pads (22.4% change after the intervention), frequency of changing pads/cloths per day (68.8%), drying the used absorbent (77.6%), methods of disposing of the used absorbent (25.5%), and cleaning of genitalia (19.2%). During the follow-up, the participants reported significant improvements in the regularity of their menstrual cycle (94.5% vs 99.5%) and fewer complications during menstruation (78.6% vs 59.6%).
    CONCLUSIONS: The programme produced significant changes in the knowledge, beliefs and practices of menstrual hygiene, complications from lack of hygiene, and the behaviour and restrictions of the menstruating adolescents. These results demonstrate the feasibility of implementing a health education programme for adolescents on menstrual hygiene in secondary schools serving rural Bangladesh.
  9. Chew BH, Cheong AT, Ismail M, Hamzah Z, A-Rashid MR, Md-Yasin M, et al.
    BMJ Open, 2014 Jun 11;4(6):e004645.
    PMID: 24919639 DOI: 10.1136/bmjopen-2013-004645
    OBJECTIVE: To examine the expectation of public healthcare providers/professionals (PHCPs) who are working closely with family medicine specialists (FMSs) at public health clinics.
    DESIGN: Cross-sectional study.
    SETTING: This study is part of a larger national study on the perception of the Malaysian public healthcare professionals on FMSs.
    PARTICIPANTS: PHCPs from three categories of health facilities, namely hospitals, health clinics and health offices.
    MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Qualitative analysis of written comments of respondents' expectation of FMSs.
    RESULTS: The participants' response rate was 58% (780/1345) with an almost equal proportion from each public healthcare facility. We identified 21 subthemes for the 623 expectation comments. The six emerging themes are (1) need for more FMSs, (2) clinical roles and functions of FMSs, (3) administrative roles of FMSs, (4) contribution to community and public health, (5) attributes improvement and (6) research and audits. FMSs were expected to give attention to clinical duty. Delivering this responsibility with competence included having the latest medical knowledge in their own and others' medical disciplines, practising evidence-based medicine in prehospital and posthospital care, better supervision of staff and doctors under their care, fostering effective teamwork, communicating more often with hospital specialists and making appropriate referral. Expectations ranged from definite and strong for more FMSs at the health clinics to low expectation for FMSs' involvement in research; to mal-expectation on FMSs' involvement in community and public health programmes.
    CONCLUSIONS: There were some remarkable differences in expectations on FMSs from the three different PHCPs. These ranged from being clinically competent and administratively available for patients and staff at the health clinics, to mal-expectations on FMSs to engage in public health affairs. Relevant parties, including FMSs themselves, could take appropriate self-improvement initiatives to enhance public practice of family medicine and patient care.
  10. Ganasegeran K, Renganathan P, Manaf RA, Al-Dubai SA
    BMJ Open, 2014;4(4):e004794.
    PMID: 24760351 DOI: 10.1136/bmjopen-2014-004794
    OBJECTIVE: To determine the prevalence and factors associated with anxiety and depression among type 2 diabetes outpatients in Malaysia.
    DESIGN: Descriptive, cross-sectional single-centre study with universal sampling of all patients with type 2 diabetes.
    SETTING: Endocrinology clinic of medical outpatient department in a Malaysian public hospital.
    PARTICIPANTS: All 169 patients with type 2 diabetes (men, n=99; women, n=70) aged between 18 and 90 years who acquired follow-up treatment from the endocrinology clinic in the month of September 2013.
    MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: The validated Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS), sociodemographic characteristics and clinical health information from patient records.
    RESULTS: Of the total 169 patients surveyed, anxiety and depression were found in 53 (31.4%) and 68 (40.3%), respectively. In multivariate analysis, age, ethnicity and ischaemic heart disease were significantly associated with anxiety, while age, ethnicity and monthly household income were significantly associated with depression.
    CONCLUSIONS: Sociodemographics and clinical health factors were important correlates of anxiety and depression among patients with diabetes. Integrated psychological and medical care to boost self-determination and confidence in the management of diabetes would catalyse optimal health outcomes among patients with diabetes.
    Study site: Endocrinology Clinic, Hospital Tengku Ampuan Rahimah Hospital (HTAR), Selangor, Malaysia
  11. Chong ET, Lee CC, Chua KH, Chuah JA, Lee PC
    BMJ Open, 2014;4(1):e004109.
    PMID: 24394801 DOI: 10.1136/bmjopen-2013-004109
    Our study aimed to investigate the association of CYP2E1 C-1019T RsaI and T7678A DraI polymorphisms and factors such as age, gender and ethnicity to the risk of gastrointestinal cancer (GIC) in Malaysians.
  12. de Wit M, Abma T, Koelewijn-van Loon M, Collins S, Kirwan J
    BMJ Open, 2013;3(5).
    PMID: 23667160 DOI: 10.1136/bmjopen-2012-002241
    To assess the inclusion of patients as international research partners in Outcome Measures in Rheumatology (OMERACT) conferences and how this has influenced the scope and conduct of outcomes research in rheumatology.
  13. Ahmadi K, Reidpath DD, Allotey P, Hassali MA
    BMJ Open, 2013;3(5).
    PMID: 23793653 DOI: 10.1136/bmjopen-2013-002755
    HIV/AIDS-related stigma affects the access and utilisation of health services. Although HIV/AIDS-related stigma in the health services has been studied, little work has attended to the relationship between professional development and stigmatising attitudes. Hence, in this study, we will extend earlier research by examining the relationship between the stage of professional development and the kinds of stigmatising attitudes held about people living with HIV/AIDS.
  14. Sazlina SG, Browning CJ, Yasin S
    BMJ Open, 2012;2(6).
    PMID: 23161092 DOI: 10.1136/bmjopen-2012-002119
    INTRODUCTION: Like many countries Malaysia is facing an increase in the number of people with type 2 diabetes mellitus diabetes (T2DM) and modifiable lifestyle factors such as sedentary behaviour are important drivers of this increase. The level of physical activity is low among elderly Malay people. In Malaysia, strategies to promote physical activity in elderly Malay people with T2DM are not well documented in the research literature. This paper discusses an intervention to increase physical activity in elderly Malay people with T2DM. The aim of our study was to evaluate the effectiveness of personalised feedback alone and in combination with peer support in promoting and maintaining physical activity in comparison with usual care.
    METHODS AND ANALYSIS: A three-arm randomised controlled trial will be conducted among sedentary Malay adults aged 60 years and above with T2DM attending an urban primary healthcare clinic in Malaysia. The participants will be randomised into three groups for a 12-week intervention with a follow-up at 24 and 36 weeks to assess adherence. The primary outcome of this study is pedometer-determined physical activity. Glycaemic and blood pressure control, body composition, cardiorespiratory fitness, balance, lipid profile, health-related quality of life, psychological well-being, social support and self-efficacy for exercise are the secondary measures. Linear mixed models will be used to determine the effect of the intervention over time and between groups. ETHICAL AND DISSEMINATION: The Monash University Human Research Ethics Committee and the Malaysian Ministry of Health's Medical Research Ethics Committee approved this protocol. The findings of this study will be presented at international conferences and published in peer-reviewed journals.
    TRIAL REGISTRATION: This study protocol has been registered with the Malaysian National Medical Research Registry and with the Current Controlled Trial Ltd (http://www.controlled-trials.com/ISRCTN71447000/).
  15. Mei Hsien CC, Wan Azman WA, Md Yusof M, Ho GF, Krupat E
    BMJ Open, 2012;2(5).
    PMID: 23035016 DOI: 10.1136/bmjopen-2012-001799
    Psychological distress is common in patients with cancer. We need a rapid means of screening for and identifying depression and anxiety in patients with cancer. The present study evaluates the potential of the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) performance status (PS) scoring as a brief screening tool to assess psychological distress in routine cancer care. The ECOG PS is widely used by oncologists and the WHO, as a standardised measure to assess general well-being in patients with cancer and quality of life in cancer trials. We examine the discrepancy between patient-rated and oncologist-rated PS scores on the ECOG in a comparative assessment against the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS).
  16. Choo WY, Hairi NN, Sooryanarayana R, Yunus RM, Hairi FM, Ismail N, et al.
    BMJ Open, 2016 05 25;6(5):e011057.
    PMID: 27225651 DOI: 10.1136/bmjopen-2016-011057
    INTRODUCTION: Despite being now recognised as a global health concern, there is still an inadequate amount of research into elder mistreatment, especially in low and middle-income regions. The purpose of this paper is to report on the design and methodology of a population-based cohort study on elder mistreatment among the older Malaysian population. The study aims at gathering data and evidence to estimate the prevalence and incidence of elder mistreatment, identify its individual, familial and social determinants, and quantify its health consequences.

    METHODS AND ANALYSIS: This is a community-based prospective cohort study using randomly selected households from the national census. A multistage sampling method was employed to obtain a total of 2496 older adults living in the rural Kuala Pilah district. The study is divided into two phases: cross-sectional study (baseline), and a longitudinal follow-up study at the third and fifth years. Elder mistreatment was measured using instrument derived from the previous literature and modified Conflict Tactic Scales. Outcomes of elder mistreatment include mortality, physical function, mental health, quality of life and health utilisation. Logistic regression models are used to examine the relationship between risk factors and abuse estimates. Cox proportional hazard regression will be used to estimate risk of mortality associated with abuse. Associated annual rate of hospitalisation and health visit frequency, and reporting of abuse, will be estimated using Poisson regression.

    ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: The study has been approved by the Medical Ethics Committee of the University of Malaya Medical Center (MEC Ref 902.2) and the Malaysian National Medical Research Register (NMRR-12-1444-11726). Written consent was obtained from all respondents prior to baseline assessment and subsequent follow-up. Findings will be disseminated to local stakeholders via forums with community leaders, and health and social welfare departments, and published in appropriate scientific journals and presented at conferences.

  17. Sruamsiri R, Wagner AK, Ross-Degnan D, Lu CY, Dhippayom T, Ngorsuraches S, et al.
    BMJ Open, 2016;6(3):e008671.
    PMID: 26988346 DOI: 10.1136/bmjopen-2015-008671
    In 2008, the Thai government introduced the 'high-cost medicines E2 access program' as a part of the National List of Essential Medicines to increase patient access to medicines, improve clinical outcomes and make medicines more affordable. Our objective was to examine whether the 'high-cost medicines E2 access program' achieved its goals.
  18. Hisham R, Ng CJ, Liew SM, Hamzah N, Ho GJ
    BMJ Open, 2016 Mar 09;6(3):e010565.
    PMID: 26962037 DOI: 10.1136/bmjopen-2015-010565
    OBJECTIVE: To explore the factors, including barriers and facilitators, influencing the practice of evidence-based medicine (EBM) across various primary care settings in Malaysia based on the doctors' views and experiences.
    RESEARCH DESIGN: The qualitative study was used to answer the research question. 37 primary care physicians participated in six focus group discussions and six individual in-depth interviews. A semistructured topic guide was used to facilitate both the interviews and focus groups, which were audio recorded, transcribed verbatim, checked and analysed using a thematic approach.
    PARTICIPANTS: 37 primary care doctors including medical officers, family medicine specialists, primary care lecturers and general practitioners with different working experiences and in different settings.
    SETTING: The study was conducted across three primary care settings-an academic primary care practice, private and public health clinics in Klang Valley, Malaysia.
    RESULTS: The doctors in this study were aware of the importance of EBM but seldom practised it. Three main factors influenced the implementation of EBM in the doctors' daily practice. First, there was a lack of knowledge and skills in searching for and applying evidence. Second, workplace culture influenced doctors' practice of EBM. Third, some doctors considered EBM as a threat to good clinical practice. They were concerned that rigid application of evidence compromised personalised patient care and felt that EBM did not consider the importance of clinical experience.
    CONCLUSIONS: Despite being aware of and having a positive attitude towards EBM, doctors in this study seldom practised EBM in their routine clinical practice. Besides commonly cited barriers such as having a heavy workload and lack of training, workplace 'EBM culture' had an important influence on the doctors' behaviour. Strategies targeting barriers at the practice level should be considered when implementing EBM in primary care.
    Study site: klinik kesihatan, general practice clinics, Klang Valley, Malaysia
  19. Kohno A, Nik Farid ND, Musa G, Abdul Aziz N, Nakayama T, Dahlui M
    BMJ Open, 2016;6(3):e010668.
    PMID: 27006344 DOI: 10.1136/bmjopen-2015-010668
    While living overseas in another culture, retirees need to adapt to a new environment but often this causes difficulties, particularly among those elderly who require healthcare services. This study examines factors affecting healthcare service utilisation among Japanese retirees in Malaysia.
  20. Haseeb A, Winit-Watjana W, Bakhsh AR, Elrggal ME, Hadi MA, Mously AA, et al.
    BMJ Open, 2016 06 16;6(6):e011401.
    PMID: 27311911 DOI: 10.1136/bmjopen-2016-011401
    OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the effectiveness of a pharmacist-led educational intervention to reduce the use of high-risk abbreviations (HRAs) by healthcare professionals.

    DESIGN: Quasi-experimental study consisting of a single group before-and-after study design.

    SETTING: A public emergency hospital in Mecca, Saudi Arabia.

    PARTICIPANTS: 660 (preintervention) and then 498 (postintervention) handwritten physician orders, medication administration records (MRAs) and pharmacy dispensing sheets of 482 and 388 patients, respectively, from emergency wards, inpatient settings and the pharmacy department were reviewed.

    INTERVENTION: The intervention consisted of a series of interactive lectures delivered by an experienced clinical pharmacist to all hospital staff members and dissemination of educational tools (flash cards, printed list of HRAs, awareness posters) designed in line with the recommendations of the Institute for Safe Medical Practices and the US Food and Drug Administration. The duration of intervention was from April to May 2011.

    MAIN OUTCOME: Reduction in the incidence of HRAs use from the preintervention to postintervention study period.

    FINDINGS: The five most common abbreviations recorded prior to the interventions were 'IJ for injection' (28.6%), 'SC for subcutaneous' (17.4%), drug name and dose running together (9.7%), 'OD for once daily' (5.8%) and 'D/C for discharge' (4.3%). The incidence of the use of HRAs was highest in discharge prescriptions and dispensing records (72.7%) followed by prescriptions from in-patient wards (47.3%). After the intervention, the overall incidence of HRA was significantly reduced by 52% (ie, 53.6% vs 25.5%; p=0.001). In addition, there was a statistically significant reduction in the incidence of HRAs across all three settings: the pharmacy department (72.7% vs 39.3%), inpatient settings (47.3% vs 23.3%) and emergency wards (40.9% vs 10.7%).

    CONCLUSIONS: Pharmacist-led educational interventions can significantly reduce the use of HRAs by healthcare providers. Future research should investigate the long-term effectiveness of such educational interventions through a randomised controlled trial.

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