INTRODUCTION: Diabetes is common among the elderly and can significantly affect their lives including the issues related with social support and diabetic self-care activities.
OBJECTIVES: The objective of this study was to examine the social support and self-care activities among the elderly patients with diabetes.
METHODS: A survey involving 200 patients was conducted from March 2013 to May 2013 in three hospitals in Kelantan. Data were obtained through self-administered questionnaires and clinical characteristics were acquired from the patients' records.
RESULTS: The scores for social support (mean = 19.26; SD = 2.63) and self-care activities (mean = 14.83; SD = 4.92) were moderate. Higher social support was associated with high levels of glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c), fasting blood sugar (FBS) level, the duration of diabetes and a decrease in body mass index (BMI) (p<0.05). It was observed that the patients with low educational, Hb1Ac and FBS level, with other chronic diseases and who have had diabetes for some time had low self-care activities (p<0.05). There was a significant negative relationship between an increase in social support and decrease in self-care activity (p<0.05).
CONCLUSION: Healthcare providers, family and friends have to strengthen their relationship with the elderly patients with diabetes to provide more social support and promote the compliance with diabetic self-care activities to improve clinical outcomes.
KEYWORDS: Social support; diabetes; elderly; self-care activities
Study site: medical and diabetic clinics, three government hospitals in Kelantan, Malaysia (Gua Musang Hospital, Kuala Krai Hospital and Machang Hospital).
This audit report assessed the structure, processes and outcome of the pulmonary tuberculosis (PTB) management in adults conducted at eight government health clinics within the high TB burden Gombak district. All newly diagnosed PTB patients from November 2012 to November 2013 were identified from the tuberculosis registry. Patients less than 18 years old, were transferred out or extrapulmonary tuberculosis was excluded from the study. The assessment criteria for PTB were defined according to the latest Malaysian TB clinical practice guidelines (TB CPG) 2012. A total of 117 patients were included in this report and data were extracted and analysed using SPSS version 20.0. The mean age of patients was 40.4 ± 14.4 SD. Majority was men (63.2%). Out of 117 patients, 82.1% were Malaysian citizens and 17.9% were foreigners. Malays were the majority (65%) followed by 7.7% Chinese, 10.3% Indian and 17.1% others. The most common clinical feature was cough (88.0%) followed by loss of weight (58.1%), loss of appetite (57.3%), fever (56.4%), night sweat (30.8%) and haemoptysis (32.5%). Acid-fast bacilli (AFB) smear was positive in 94% of cases. Chest X-ray and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) screening results were available for 89.1 and 82.1% cases respectively. The results for the sputum culture were available in 27.4% of patients and 54.7% were documented as done but pending results. The clinics have a successful directly observed therapy (DOT) program with 94.0% patients documented under DOT. Out of 53 patients on maintenance phase, 47.2% were identified as cured. Cure rate for those completed treatment was 100%. The defaulter rate was 17.1%. This audit demonstrated the attempt made by the clinics to adhere to the recommended guidelines. However, improvements are to be made in the documentation of medical records, tracing of investigation results and reduction of the number of defaulters.
INTRODUCTION: Hypertension is highly prevalent in the older people. Chronic disease care is a major burden in the public primary care clinics in Malaysia. Good blood pressure (BP) control is needed to reduce the morbidity and mortality of cardiovascular disease (CVD). This study aimed to determine the status of BP control and its associated factors among older people with hypertension in public primary care clinics.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: A cross-sectional study on hypertensive patients aged 18 years and above was conducted in six public primary care clinics in Federal Territory, Malaysia. A total of 1107 patients were selected via systematic random sampling. Data from 441 (39.8%) patients aged 60 years and more were used in this analysis. BP control was determined from the average of two BP readings measured twice at an interval of 5 min. For patients without diabetes, poor BP control was defined as BP of ≥140/90 mm Hg and ≥150/90 for the patients aged 80 years and more. For patients with diabetes, poor control was defined as BP of ≥140/80 mm Hg.
RESULTS: A total of 51.7% (n = 228) of older patients had poor BP control. The factors associated with BP control were education level (p = 0.003), presence of comorbidities (p = 0.015), number of antihypertensive agents (p = 0.001) and number of total medications used (p = 0.002). Patients with lower education (less than secondary education) (OR = 1.7, p = 0.008) and the use of three or more antihypertensive agents (OR = 2.0, p = 0.020) were associated with poor BP control.
CONCLUSION: Among older people with hypertension, those having lower education level, or using three or more antihypertensive agents would require more attention on their BP control.
This case study demonstrates a 36-year-old ex-intravenous drug user (IVDU) who had been initially tested positive for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) twice using Enzyme Immunoassay (EIA) method (Particle agglutination, PA done), but a year later he was tested HIV-negative. The patient was asymptomatic for HIV and T helper cells (CD4) count remained stable throughout this period. In light of this case, there may be a need to retest by molecular methods for high risk category patients who were initially diagnosed HIV-positive, but later showing an unexpected clinical course, such as a rising or stable CD4 titre over the years.
BACKGROUND: The Ministry of Health is committed to achieve Millenium Development Goal (MDG) MDG 4 and 5 by 2015 and include pre-pregnancy care as a strategy. This study evaluates the risk factors detected during the pre-pregnancy screening at selected public primary care clinics in Selangor.
OBJECTIVES: The objectives of this study were to determine the proportion of women with risk factors receiving pre-pregnancy care in selected clinics in Selangor, their socio demographic features, the types of risk factors detected and their significance.
METHODS: A retrospective review using secondary data was carried out from the month of March until June 2013 in four public primary care clinics in Klang and Petaling districts of Selangor. Data were obtained through non-probability sampling, using the pre-pregnancy screening form utilised in 2012, which is a standard questionnaire to determine the presence of risk factors. Women with at least one defined risk factor were considered as being at risk of an adverse obstetric outcome. Data were analysed using SPSS version 16.
RESULTS: A total of 840 pre-pregnancy screening forms were collected. However only 614 (73.1%) were analysed and studied. The proportion of women with at least one risk factor was 68.8% (95% CI: 65.1, 72.5). The majority was Malays who had tertiary education and earned more than RM 1000. Most were in the reproductive age group of 18-35 years old (350, 82.9%). The mean age was 28.68 + 5.78 years. Most of the women were parous (259, 65.1%) and did not practice any form of contraception (308, 80.8%) despite having risks. The percentage of those not receiving any form of immunisation was small i.e. 9.8% but it was of importance and needed to be addressed prior to the conception. This study did not reveal any person with mental disorder or those who endured domestic abuse. Additionally, 3% (12) of them had unhealthy lifestyle habits, which include smoking, alcohol and substance abuse. Approximately one-third (212, 35.2%) of the women screened were overweight and obese, putting them at risk of developing gestational diabetes mellitus, pregnancy induced hypertension or deep vein thrombosis. The mean body mass index (BMI) for those at risk was 25.36 + 5.94 compared to 21.06 ± 1.46 for those with no risk. This study also found a small percentage of women with raised blood pressure (3.9%), abnormal physical examination (1.5%) and anaemia (14.4%), which need to be investigated and treated prior to conception.
CONCLUSION: More than half of the women who attended the pre-pregnancy screening were found to have at least one risk factor.
Diabetes mellitus is an important cardiovascular risk factor. The objective of this study was to provide population-based estimates on the prevalence, awareness, treatment and control rate of diabetes among the older persons in Malaysia. Analysis of secondary data from a cross-sectional national population-based survey was done, which was conducted in 2011 throughout Malaysia. A total of 2764 respondents (15.5%) were older persons. The overall prevalence of diabetes among older persons was 34.4% in which 65.2% were aware of their diabetes status. Out of those who were aware, 87.5% had been treated. Only 21.8% of those treated had their diabetes controlled. The results of multiple logistic regression showed that the factors associated with higher awareness rates were women, Indians and higher income groups; factors associated with higher treatment rates were urban residents and those who were married and widow/widower/ divorcee. There was a high overall prevalence, awareness and treatment rate of diabetes among older persons in Malaysia but with suboptimal control rate.
Study name: National Health and Morbidity Survey (NHMS-2011)
Tuberculosis (TB) in Malaysia is rising due to multiple factors and issues related to its management are addressed in the updated evidence-based clinical practice guidelines. Screening for active TB should be considered in high risk groups. Light emitting diode-based fluorescence microscopy and nucleic acid amplification tests are recommended investigations. Health education and standardised 6-month daily antituberculosis (antiTB) regimen are among important elements for successful treatment. Latent TB infection screening should only be performed on high risk individuals. AntiTB regimen offered to HIV-positive adults should be the same as for HIV-negative adults and timing to initiate highly active antiretroviral therapy in patients with TB is based on CD4 count. All patients on antiTB treatment should be monitored to assess their response to treatment and to identify problems associated with it.
Work-related ocular injuries and illnesses were among the major causes of job absenteeism. This study was conducted to determine if low vision rehabilitation was provided following work-related ocular problems among industrial workers in a developing country. This was a retrospective analysis of case records.
Full thickness macular hole is an eye disease, which can cause permanent visual impairment. Current advancement in vitreoretinal surgery has high success rates in repairing them, leading to a significant visual improvement, especially if patient presents early. In this article, three cases of idiopathic full thickness macular hole with different visual outcomes have been presented. All cases were referred by the primary care practitioners and had undergone macular hole surgery with the same vitreoretinal surgeon. The visual outcome was best in the patient who had the earliest presentation and referral. Early detection and referral of these patients is vital so that early surgical intervention can be carried out to improve their vision.
Managing chronic cough is diagnostically challenging especially in primary care. This case report highlights the difficulties experienced in approaching a case of chronic cough from a primary care perspective. The discussion also involves the clinical significance and treatment dilemma of M. fortuitum chelonae complex that was isolated from the sputum cultures of an elderly woman who presented with chronic cough for more than a year.
Primary care providers play an important gatekeeping role in ensuring appropriate referrals to secondary care facilities. This cross-sectional study aimed to determine the level, pattern and rate of referrals from health clinics to hospitals in the public sector, and whether the placement of resident family medicine specialist (FMS) had made a significant difference. The study was carried out between March and April in 2012, involving 28 public primary care clinics. It showed that the average referral rate was 1.56% for clinics with resident FMS and 1.94% for those without resident FMS, but it was not statistically significant. Majority of referred cases were considered appropriate (96.1%). Results of the multivariate analysis showed that no prior consultation with senior healthcare provider and illnesses that were not severe and complex were independently associated with inappropriate referrals. Severity, complexity or uncertain diagnosis of patients' illness or injury significantly contributed to unavoidable referrals. Adequate facilities or having more experienced doctors could have avoided 14.5% of the referrals. The low referral rate and very high level of appropriate referrals could indicate that primary care providers in the public sector played an effective role as gatekeepers in the Malaysian public healthcare system.
INTRODUCTION: Continuous professional development (CPD) is an important aspect of a medical practitioner's career. AIMing to be at par with other developed countries for high quality of professional practice, Malaysia is planning to implement compulsory CPD for the doctors.
AIM: The aim of the study was to explore the private general practitioners' (GPs) views, experiences and needs regarding CPD programme in the primary care service.
METHODS: This study used a qualitative methodology. Seven semi-structured interviews and three focus group discussions were conducted with private general practitioners from an urban area of Malaysia between January and December 2012. An interview topic guide was developed based on literature review and researchers' discussions and it was used to guide the interviews. All the interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed verbatim and the transcripts formed the data for analysis using the thematic approach.
RESULTS: GPs undertook a wide range of CPD programmes to keep up with medical advances, meet patients' expectations and improve financial rewards. Conferences, lectures and online recourses were the most mentioned methods of keeping updated. Some of the GPs felt that peer motivation and networking seem to motivate and facilitate participation in CPD programmes. However, they were wary of the validity and relevance of some CPD programmes, particularly those related to pharmaceutical industry. Although the participants agreed to the new mandatory CPD regulation, they voiced concerns on how it would be implemented and wished for a more effective method of monitoring.
CONCLUSIONS: Organised peer support and relevant CPD content may improve GP participation in CPD but adequate regulatory measure should be in place to monitor the CPD activities.
KEYWORDS: Private general practitioner; continuous; medical education; primary care; professional development; qualitative study
Dengue is a common cause of illness seen in primary care in the tropical and subtropical countries. An understanding of the course of disease progression, risk factors, recognition of the warning signs and look out for clinical problems during the different phases of the disease will enable primary care physicians to manage dengue fever in an appropriate and timely manner to reduce morbidity and mortality.
Thyroglossal duct cyst (TDC) is a developmental anomaly that usually appears in early childhood. The common presentation is midline swelling of the neck, which moves with both tongue protrusion and deglutition. Diagnosis is usually clinical and radiological. Fine needle aspiration cytology (FNAC) can be used as a tool for the exclusion of malignancy in adult patients. In some cases thyroid scan is done to rule out the presence or absence of the normal thyroid gland. A complete work-up is mandatory before cyst removal given that it contains only thyroid tissue. We report the case of a 32-year-old woman with only thyroid tissue in thyroglossal duct cyst.