Displaying publications 1 - 20 of 894 in total

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  1. Yusof NM, Rahman JA, Zulkifly AH, Che-Ahmad A, Khalid KA, Sulong AF, et al.
    Singapore Med J, 2015 Nov;56(11):626-31.
    PMID: 26668408 DOI: 10.11622/smedj.2015172
    Diabetes mellitus (DM) is the most common cause of amputations in Malaysia. This study aimed to identify the predictive factors for major lower limb amputation among patients with type 2 DM (T2DM) who were admitted to a hospital, in order to reduce its likelihood.
  2. Thalayasingam M, Loo EX, Tan MM, Bever HV, Shek LP
    Singapore Med J, 2015 Nov;56(11):622-5.
    PMID: 26668407 DOI: 10.11622/smedj.2015171
    The prevalence of perceived food allergies exceeds that of true food allergies. Unnecessary food avoidance may increase parental and patient anxiety, reduce quality of life and increase the risk of nutritional deficiency. An oral food challenge (OFC) can provide an objective measure regarding the presence or absence of food allergies in a child. This study reviews the indications for and outcomes of OFCs performed on children.
  3. Chong LA, Khalid F
    Singapore Med J, 2016 Feb;57(2):77-80.
    PMID: 26893078 DOI: 10.11622/smedj.2016032
    There is increased awareness of paediatric palliative care in Malaysia, but no local published data on home care services. We aimed to describe the paediatric experience at Hospis Malaysia, a community-based palliative care provider in Malaysia.
  4. Poh KK, Chin CT, Tong KL, Tan JKB, Lim JS, Yu W, et al.
    Singapore Med J, 2019 Sep;60(9):454-462.
    PMID: 30773600 DOI: 10.11622/smedj.2019021
    INTRODUCTION: Dyslipidaemia is a major risk factor for coronary heart disease (CHD). There is a lack of data on the extent of lipid abnormalities and lipid-lowering therapy (LLT) in Singapore.

    METHODS: The Dyslipidemia International Study (DYSIS) II was a multinational observational study of patients with stable CHD and hospitalised patients with an acute coronary syndrome (ACS). A full lipid profile and use of LLT were documented at baseline, and for the ACS cohort, at four months post-hospitalisation.

    RESULTS: 325 patients were recruited from four sites in Singapore; 199 had stable CHD and 126 were hospitalised with an ACS. At baseline, 96.5% of the CHD cohort and 66.4% of the ACS cohort were being treated with LLT. In both cohorts, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) levels were lower for the treated than the non-treated patients; accordingly, a higher proportion of patients met the LDL-C goal of < 70 mg/dL (CHD: 28.1% vs. 0%, p = 0.10; ACS: 20.2% vs. 0%, p < 0.01). By the four-month follow-up, a higher proportion of the ACS patients that were originally not treated with LLT had met the LDL-C goal (from 0% to 54.5%), correlating with the increased use of medication. However, there was negligible improvement in the patients who were treated prior to the ACS.

    CONCLUSION: Dyslipidaemia is a significant concern in Singapore, with few patients with stable or acute CHD meeting the recommended European Society of Cardiology/European Atherosclerosis Society goal. LLT was widely used but not optimised, indicating considerable scope for improved management of these very-high-risk patients.

  5. Abdullah HR, Ang AL, Froessler B, Hofmann A, Jang JH, Kim YW, et al.
    Singapore Med J, 2020 Jun;61(6):287-296.
    PMID: 31044255 DOI: 10.11622/smedj.2019037
    Preoperative anaemia is common in the Asia-Pacific. Iron deficiency anaemia (IDA) is a risk factor that can be addressed under patient blood management (PBM) Pillar 1, leading to reduced morbidity and mortality. We examined PBM implementation under four different healthcare systems, identified challenges and proposed several measures: (a) Test for anaemia once patients are scheduled for surgery. (b) Inform patients about risks of preoperative anaemia and benefits of treatment. (c) Treat IDA and replenish iron stores before surgery, using intravenous iron when oral treatment is ineffective, not tolerated or when rapid iron replenishment is needed; transfusion should not be the default management. (d) Harness support from multiple medical disciplines and relevant bodies to promote PBM implementation. (e) Demonstrate better outcomes and cost savings from reduced mortality and morbidity. Although PBM implementation may seem complex and daunting, it is feasible to start small. Implementing PBM Pillar 1, particularly in preoperative patients, is a sensible first step regardless of the healthcare setting.
  6. Tan NC, Goh SY, Khoo EY, Dalan R, Koong A, Khoo CM, et al.
    Singapore Med J, 2019 Jul 22.
    PMID: 31328239 DOI: 10.11622/smedj.2019081
    INTRODUCTION: Hypoglycaemia constitutes a significant barrier to achieving glycaemic control with insulin in both Type 1 (T1DM) and Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). The International Operations Hypoglycaemia Assessment Tool (IO HAT) study was designed to determine the incidence of hypoglycaemia in insulin-treated patients with T1DM and T2DM.

    METHODS: The IO HAT study retrospectively and prospectively assessed the incidence of hypoglycaemia in patients with insulin-treated diabetes mellitus in nine countries. This sub-analysis included patients from Singapore with T1DM or T2DM who were aged ≥ 21 years and had completed two self-assessment questionnaires (SAQ1 and SAQ2).

    RESULTS: Of the 50 T1DM and 320 T2DM patients who completed the SAQ1, 39 T1DM and 265 T2DM patients completed SAQ2; 100% and 90.9%, respectively, experienced at least one hypoglycaemic event prospectively. The incidence rates of any hypoglycaemia were 49.5 events per patient-year (EPPY) and 16.1 EPPY for T1DM and T2DM patients, respectively, in the four-week prospective period. Hypoglycaemia rate did not differ in terms of HbA1c level. The vast majority of T1DM or T2DM patients (92.0% and 90.7%, respectively) knew the overall definition of hypoglycaemia before study participation, although over half of the patients (T1DM 54.0%, T2DM 51.9%) defined hypoglycaemia based only on symptoms.

    CONCLUSION: High proportions of insulin-treated patients with diabetes mellitus in Singapore reported hypoglycaemic events prospectively, showing that they had underreported hypoglycaemic episodes retrospectively. Patient education can help in improving hypoglycaemia awareness and its management in the region.
  7. Oo WL, Ong JS, Fong JW, Hossain MM, Baskaran ND, Haron H, et al.
    Singapore Med J, 2019 Jul 22.
    PMID: 31328238 DOI: 10.11622/smedj.2019080
    INTRODUCTION: Healthcare professionals (HCPs) working in critical care areas play an important role in the organ donation (OD) process. We studied HCPs' own willingness to be organ donors and its association with sociodemographic factors as well as their knowledge and attitudes about OD and transplantation.

    METHODS: A cross-sectional survey of HCPs working in four critical care units in a major transplant centre in Malaysia was undertaken using a validated structured questionnaire. Responses were analysed using multivariable analysis with willingness to donate as the dependent variable.

    RESULTS: Of the 412 respondents (response rate 98.1%), the majority were nurses (60.4%), Malay (71.1%) and female (77.2%). Overall, 68.0% were willing to donate. The independent predictors of willingness to donate were profession (p < 0.001) and the Hindu religion (p = 0.001). Ethnicity (p = 0.003), religious belief (p < 0.001), knowledge (p = 0.016), belief in brain death (p = 0.018) and confidence in transplantation (p < 0.001) also independently correlated with willingness to donate, while attitudes to OD did not. Of those willing to donate, only 37.3% were carrying a donor card and only 63.1% had informed their family of their intention to donate.

    CONCLUSION: Although willingness to donate was higher in critical care HCPs than HCPs in general, significant knowledge gaps as well as certain beliefs and perceptions that could pose a barrier to OD were identified in this group. Measures to improve OD rates in Malaysia should include targeted educational programmes for HCPs working in critical care areas.
  8. Low MJW, Khoo KSM, Kuan WS, Ooi SBS
    Singapore Med J, 2020 Jan;61(1):28-33.
    PMID: 31423541 DOI: 10.11622/smedj.2019097
    INTRODUCTION: Defining the characteristics of a good medical teacher has implications for faculty selection and development. Perceptions of characteristics may differ with cultural context and level of training, as medical students progress from didactic preclinical training based on cognitivist learning theory to more complex integration of theory and practice in specific contexts in clinical training based on constructivist learning theory.

    METHODS: We modified a validated questionnaire with permission from the original authors at Melaka Manipal Medical College, Melaka, Malaysia. Participants rated 35 characteristics on a 5-point Likert scale. The modified questionnaire was validated in a pilot pool of medical students (n = 69), with a Cronbach's alpha of 0.90, and administered to Year 1-5 medical students (n = 917) at the Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore, Singapore.

    RESULTS: Based on the proportion of favourable Likert scoring, four top desirable characteristics were common across Year 1-5 students: good communication skills (84.4%); sound knowledge of subject (82.7%); enthusiasm (78.4%); and providing effective explanations (74.4%). Approachability (p = 0.005), encouraging participation (p < 0.001) and constructive criticism (p < 0.001) were more important to clinical students (Year 3-5) than preclinical students (Year 1-2).

    CONCLUSION: The top four characteristics were consistent across all years of medical students in this study. Characteristics emphasised in the clinical years facilitate active learner participation, consistent with constructivist learning theory.

  9. Aman Z, Liew SM, Ramdzan SN, Philp I, Khoo EM
    Singapore Med J, 2020 May;61(5):238-245.
    PMID: 31423540 DOI: 10.11622/smedj.2019100
    INTRODUCTION: Many older people rely on caregivers for support. Caring for older people can pose significant burdens for caregivers yet may also have positive effects. This study aimed to assess the impact on the caregivers and to determine factors associated with caregivers who were burdened.

    METHODS: This was a cross-sectional study of 385 caregivers of older people who attended a community clinic in Malaysia. Convenience sampling was employed during the study period on caregivers who were aged ≥ 21 years and provided ≥ 4 hours of unpaid support per week. Participants were asked to complete a self-administered questionnaire, which included the Carers of Older People in Europe (COPE) index and the EASYCare Standard 2010 independence score. The COPE index was used to assess the impact of caregiving. A highly burdened caregiver was defined as one whose scores for all three COPE subscales were positive for burden. Care recipients' independence was assessed using the independence score of the EASYCare Standard 2010 questionnaire. Multiple logistic regression was used to determine the factors associated with caregiver burden.

    RESULTS: 73 (19.0%) caregivers were burdened, of whom two were highly burdened. Caregivers' median scores on the positive value, negative impact and quality of support scales were 13.0, 9.0 and 12.0, respectively. Care recipients' median independence score was 18.0. Ethnicity and education levels were found to be associated with caregiver burden.

    CONCLUSION: Most caregivers gained satisfaction and felt supported in caregiving. Ethnicity and education level were associated with a caregiver being burdened.

  10. Idris SSM, Nasir A, Ismail NZAN, Van Rostenberghe H, Ilias MI
    Singapore Med J, 2019 Sep 06.
    PMID: 31489435 DOI: 10.11622/smedj.2019096
    INTRODUCTION: Idiopathic nephrotic syndrome (INS) is the commonest type of nephrotic syndrome in children, and a majority has favourable outcomes. A small proportion of INS progresses to chronic kidney disease (CKD). We investigated the time to CKD and predictive risk factors associated with progression of CKD in these children.

    METHODS: A retrospective review of medical records was done to investigate the demographic variables, and biochemical and histological changes in children with INS aged 12 months to 18 years between 2001 and 2016 at Hospital Universiti Sains Malaysia. The median renal survival time for progression to CKD stage III or higher was determined using survival curve analysis. Multiple Cox regression analysis was used to identify predictive factors for CKD.

    RESULTS: The total number of participants was 112 (boys: n = 71; girls: n = 41) and a majority had steroid-sensitive INS. Only 10% of INS progressed to CKD stage III or higher, with an overall median renal survival time of 19 years. Median renal survival time in steroid-resistant nephrotic syndrome (SRNS) was 13 years. Focal segmental glomerulosclerosis was predominant in SRNS. The predictors of progression to CKD were steroid resistance (adjusted hazard ratio [HR] [95% confidence interval (CI)] 23.8 [2.8-200.9]) and the presence of hypertension at presentation (adjusted HR [95% CI] 8.1 [1.2-55.7]).

    CONCLUSION: The median renal survival time in our study was comparable to other studies. SRNS and the presence of hypertension at presentation were the main predictors for developing CKD in our population.

  11. Mohd-Ilham I, Muhd-Syafi AB, Khairy-Shamel ST, Shatriah I
    Singapore Med J, 2020 Jun;61(6):312-319.
    PMID: 31598730 DOI: 10.11622/smedj.2019121
    INTRODUCTION: Limited data is available on paediatric orbital cellulitis in Asia. We aimed to describe demographic data, clinical presentation, predisposing factors, identified microorganisms, choice of antibiotics and management in children with orbital cellulitis treated in a tertiary care centre in Malaysia.

    METHODS: A retrospective review was performed on children with orbital cellulitis aged below 18 years who were admitted to Hospital Universiti Sains Malaysia, Kelantan, Malaysia, between January 2013 and December 2017.

    RESULTS: A total of 14 paediatric patients fulfilling the diagnostic criteria for orbital cellulitis were included. Their mean age was 6.5 ± 1.2 years. Boys were more likely to have orbital cellulitis than girls (71.4% vs. 28.6%). Involvement of both eyes was observed in 14.3% of the patients. Sinusitis (28.6%) and upper respiratory tract infection (21.4%) were the most common predisposing causes. Staphylococcus aureus (28.6%) was the leading pathogen. Longer duration of hospitalisation was observed in those infected with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and Burkholderia pseudomallei. 10 (71.4%) patients were treated with a combination of two or three antibiotics. In this series, 42.9% had surgical interventions.

    CONCLUSION: Young boys were found to be more commonly affected by orbital cellulitis than young girls. Staphylococcus aureus was the most common isolated microorganism. Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and Burkholderia pseudomallei caused severe infection. Sinusitis and upper respiratory tract infection were the most common predisposing factors. A majority of the children improved with medical treatment alone. Our findings are in slight disagreement with other published reports on paediatric orbital cellulitis, especially from the Asian region.

  12. Ng CW, How CH, Ng YP
    Singapore Med J, 2017 08;58(8):459-466.
    PMID: 28848991 DOI: 10.11622/smedj.2017080
    Major depression is common in the primary care setting. In the final article of this series, we illustrate the approach to the management of depression in primary care. Psychotherapy has been shown to be as effective as antidepressants for mild to moderate major depression. The common myth that antidepressants are addictive should be addressed. Antidepressants should be started at a subtherapeutic dose to assess tolerability, then gradually increased until a minimally effective dose is achieved. Apart from pharmacotherapy and psychotherapy, management of depression should include managing stressors, engaging social and community support, dealing with stigma and discrimination, and managing concomitant comorbidities. A strong therapeutic relationship and empathic listening are important between the primary care physician and patient.
  13. Kheok SW, Ong KO
    Singapore Med J, 2017 Sep;58(9):521-527.
    PMID: 28948289 DOI: 10.11622/smedj.2017087
    Benign periarticular, bone and joint lipomatous lesions are rare entities that are increasingly being identified using current imaging techniques. This pictorial review illustrates the wide range of imaging presentations of these lesions at various sites and their pathognomonic features. The main lesions reviewed include intraosseous lipoma, liposclerosing myxofibrous tumour, lipoma arborescens and intra-articular lipoma.
  14. Nordin RB, Soni T, Kaur A, Loh KP, Miranda S
    Singapore Med J, 2019 Jan;60(1):40-47.
    PMID: 29774359 DOI: 10.11622/smedj.2018049
    INTRODUCTION: Erectile dysfunction (ED) is a serious global burden that affects men as well as their partners. This study aimed to determine the prevalence and predictors of ED among male outpatient clinic attendees in Johor, Malaysia.

    METHODS: We conducted a cross-sectional study of Malaysian men aged ≥ 18 years attending two major outpatient clinics in Johor Bahru and Segamat in Johor, Malaysia, between 1 January 2016 and 31 March 2016. Subjects were chosen via simple random sampling and 400 patients were recruited. The study instrument was a survey form that consisted of three sections: sociodemographic and comorbid profile, validated English and Malay versions of the 15-item International Index of Erectile Function, and the 21-item Depression Anxiety Stress Scale.

    RESULTS: The overall prevalence of self-reported ED was 81.5%. The prevalence of ED according to severity was as follows: mild (17.0%), mild to moderate (23.8%), moderate (11.3%) and severe (29.5%). Multivariate analysis showed that ED was associated with increasing age (odds ratio [OR] 4.023, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.633-9.913), Indian as compared to Malay ethnicity (OR 3.252, 95% CI 1.280-8.262), secondary as compared to tertiary education (OR 2.171, 95% CI 1.203-3.919), single as compared to married status (OR 6.119, 95% CI 2.542-14.734) and stress (OR 4.259, 95% CI 1.793-10.114).

    CONCLUSION: ED has significant prevalence and severity among adult male outpatient clinic attendees in Johor. Increasing age, Indian ethnicity, lower educational level, singlehood and stress were significant predictors of ED.

  15. Ohn Mar S, Ali O, Sandheep S, Husayni Z, Zuhri M
    Singapore Med J, 2019 Feb;60(2):97-103.
    PMID: 29876579 DOI: 10.11622/smedj.2018065
    INTRODUCTION: This study explored attitudes towards vasectomy and its acceptance as a method of contraception among clinical-year medical students, and determined the association between their demographic characteristics, and attitudes and acceptance.

    METHODS: A cross-sectional survey was conducted among clinical-year medical students from a Malaysian private medical college using a self-administered questionnaire.

    RESULTS: There were 330 participants with a female preponderance and a mean age of 22.0 ± 1.1 years. The largest proportion of respondents were from Year 3. The vast majority were ethnically Malay (91.8%) and followed Islam (92.4%). Overall, 60.9% of participants had a positive attitude towards vasectomy and 76.0% showed good acceptance. Gender, academic year, ethnicity and religion variables were not associated with attitudes and acceptance (p > 0.05). A significantly higher proportion of male respondents thought that vasectomy was religiously forbidden and would give a bad impression. A significantly higher proportion of Year 5 students agreed to the statement 'I would recommend vasectomy to relatives, friends and people close to me' compared to Year 3 and 4 students.

    CONCLUSION: Students' perception of vasectomy as a contraceptive method was encouraging. Our results suggest that their knowledge improved as medical training progressed, and attitudes evolved for the better irrespective of their traditional, cultural and religious beliefs - highlighting the importance of providing students with evidence-based learning about male sterilisation, which is more cost-effective and is associated with lower morbidity than female sterilisation. A qualitative study involving students from different ethnicities and religions would provide a better understanding of this subject.

  16. Koo SH, Deng J, Ang DSW, Hsiang JC, Lee LS, Aazmi S, et al.
    Singapore Med J, 2019 Oct;60(10):512-521.
    PMID: 30488079 DOI: 10.11622/smedj.2018152
    INTRODUCTION: The objectives of this study were to examine the effects of ethnicity, gender and a proton pump inhibitor (PPI), omeprazole, on the human gut microbiome. PPIs are commonly used for the treatment of acid-related disorders. We hypothesised that PPI therapy might perturb microbial communities and alter the gut microbiome.

    METHODS: Healthy subjects of Chinese (n = 12), Malay (n = 12) and Indian (n = 10) ancestry, aged 21-37 years, were enrolled. They provided a baseline stool sample (Day 1) and were then given a course of omeprazole at therapeutic dose (20 mg daily) for seven days. Stool samples were collected again on Day 7 and 14 (one week after stopping omeprazole). Microbial DNA was extracted from the stool samples, followed by polymerase chain reaction, library construction, 16S rRNA sequencing using Illumina MiSeq, and statistical and bioinformatics analyses.

    RESULTS: The findings showed an increase in species richness (p = 0.018) after omeprazole consumption on Day 7, which reverted to baseline on Day 14. There were significant increases in the relative abundance of Streptococcus vestibularis (p = 0.0001) and Veillonella dispar (p = 0.0001) on Day 7, which diminished on Day 14. Faecalibacterium prausnitzii, Sutterella stercoricanis and Bacteroides denticanum were characteristic of Chinese, Malays and Indians, respectively. Lactobacillaceae and Bacteroides xylanisolvens were the signature taxa of male and female subjects, respectively.

    CONCLUSION: The study demonstrated alterations in the gut microbiome following omeprazole treatment. This may explain the underlying pathology of increased risk of Clostridium difficile infections associated with omeprazole therapy.

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