DESIGN: A qualitative interview study with thematic analysis of transcripts.
PARTICIPANTS: 67 patients with self-discovered breast symptoms were included in the analysis. Of these, 36% were of Malay ethnicity, 39% were Chinese and 25% Indian, with an average age of 58 years (range 24-82 years). The number of women diagnosed at early stages of cancer almost equalled those at advanced stages. Approximately three-quarters presented with a painless lump, one-quarter experienced a painful lump and 10% had atypical symptoms.
SETTING: University hospital setting in Singapore and Malaysia.
RESULTS: Patients revealed barriers to early presentation not previously reported: the poor quality of online website information about breast symptoms, financial issues and the negative influence of relatives in both countries, while perceived poor quality of care and services in state-run hospitals and misdiagnosis by healthcare professionals were reported in Malaysia. The pattern of presentation by ethnicity remained unchanged where more Malay delayed help-seeking and had more advanced cancer compared to Chinese and Indian patients.
CONCLUSIONS: There are few differences in the pattern of presentation and in the reported barriers to seek medical care after symptom discovery between Singapore and Malaysia despite their differing economic status. Strategies to reduce delayed presentation are: a need to improve knowledge of disease, symptoms and causes, quality of care and services, and quality of online information; and addressing fear of diagnosis, treatment and hospitalisation, with more effort focused on the Malay ethnic group. Training is needed to avoid missed diagnoses and other factors contributing to delay among health professionals.
METHODS AND ANALYSIS: We will systematically search 4 databases: MEDLINE, EMBASE, PsycINFO and CINAHL for published qualitative evidence on the needs and experiences of stroke survivors and informal carers of postacute care delivered by primary care and community health services. Additional searches of reference lists and citation indices will be conducted. The quality of articles will be assessed by 2 independent reviewers using a Critical Appraisal Skills Programme (CASP) checklist. Disagreements will be resolved through discussion or third party adjudication. Meta-ethnography will be used to synthesise the literature based on first-order, second-order and third-order constructs. We will construct a theoretical model of stroke survivors' and informal carers' experiences of primary care and community health services.
ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: The results of the systematic review will be disseminated via publication in a peer-reviewed journal and presented at a relevant conference. The study does not require ethical approval as no patient identifiable data will be used.
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.
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.
TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER: NCT01708876.
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.