In line with the trend to engage students in active learning, it is imperative to introduce new strategies that make learning more interesting, especially in undergraduate curricula. This study aimed to determine students' performance and perception in pathology crosswords as an active way of learning and to assess their ability to memorise difficult terms in pathology.
A crossword competition in pathology was conducted for two batches (year 2009 and 2010) of Phase 2 medical students in Malaysia. Crossword puzzles were prepared using an online application. Two sets of puzzles were prepared, with 20 questions for the assessment of general pathology and 20 for systemic pathology. The purpose was to compare the students' recent and remote memorising abilities, as general pathology was taught a year before proceeding to systemic pathology teaching. There were 12 groups per batch, with 8-10 students in a group. Survey questionnaires were used to assess the students' perception of the competition. Descriptive analysis was performed for comparison of performance.
The mean score of correctly answered questions in general pathology was 12.75 and 11.50 in batch 2009 and 2010, respectively. The mean score for systemic pathology was 14.50 in 2009 and 13.83 in 2010. Students in the 2009 batch performed better, but this was not statistically significant (p-value > 0.05). A positive response was observed from the questionnaires.
Applying crossword puzzles as a new strategy is a useful and easy way for undergraduate medical students to learn pathology.
The introduction of imatinib mesylate in 1998 has changed the management of chronic myeloid leukaemia. It is now the first-line therapy for newly diagnosed chronic myeloid leukaemia patients worldwide. However, its long-term survival benefit still needs to be established in clinical setting among Asian patients.
Findings in the area of patient-physician relationship are riddled with inconsistencies. Although patient-centredness has been found to have special relevance in chronic illnesses, no study in the Southeast Asian region has so far examined role orientation and its implication for patient-centred outcomes in the cancer context. This study aimed to examine role orientation in cancer patients and their physicians, doctor-patient fit and how this congruence relates to patient satisfaction.
The Breast Module (BR23) is increasingly being used worldwide in breast cancer research. This study evaluates the appropriateness of the translated version (i.e. BR23-Malay version) as a useful tool for the Malaysian population who could understand Malay, and examines the reliability and validity of the BR23-Malay version.
A 62 year-old woman who presented with an atraumatic acute abdomen was discovered to have haemoperitoneum with splenic rupture on urgent computed tomography and was immediately referred for life-saving emergency splenectomy. Histopathological examination revealed secondary splenic amyloidosis. The patient was later found to be suffering from infective endocarditis secondary to her permanent cardiac pacemaker. This report describes a patient who could have suffered from a long-standing infected vegetation on a permanent cardiac pacemaker, which led to splenic amyloidosis and spontaneous splenic rupture.
There is a paucity of data on acute myocardial infarction (AMI) in young Asian women and of comparative data among various ethnic groups with respect to risk factor profile and clinical outcomes. We present a comprehensive overview of the clinical characteristics of young Asian women with AMI and a comparative analysis among Chinese, Malay and Indian women in a multi-ethnic Asian country.
Secular changes in the head and body dimensions of the Japanese population were recorded during the last century, but studies on Japanese adult facial shape were poorly documented. This study aimed to document the secular changes in facial shape and their association with craniofacial measures of Japanese adult female students.
Glucocorticoids cause osteoporosis by decreasing bone formation and increasing bone resorption activity. Glucocorticoid action in bones depends on the activity of 11-beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 1 (11β-HSD1) enzyme, which plays an important role in regulating corticosteroids. 11β-HSD1 is expressed by human and rat osteoblasts. We aimed to investigate the relationship between 11β-HSD1 dehydrogenase activity and bone histomorphometric changes in glucocorticoid-induced osteoporotic bone in rats.
The cystic artery (CA) is known to exhibit variations in its origin and branching pattern. This is attributed to the developmental changes occurring in the primitive ventral splanchnic arteries. During routine dissection of a male cadaver, we observed that the CA originated from the middle hepatic artery (MHA) at a distance of about 1 cm from its origin, and the MHA originated from the right hepatic artery at a distance of 2.1 cm from its origin. The CA traversed for a distance of 1.5 cm, giving off a branch to the cystic duct. It then passed anterior to the cystic duct. The origin of the CA was located to the left of the common hepatic duct, outside the Calot's triangle. The topographical anatomy of the arterial system of the hepatobiliary region and their anomalous origin should be considered during hepatobiliary surgeries. This knowledge is also important for interventional radiologists in routine clinical practice.
INTRODUCTION: Assessment is an important factor that drives student learning, as students tend to mainly focus on the material to be assessed. The current practice in teaching pathology extensively applies objective-structured practical examination for the assessment of students. As students will have to deal with real patients during clinical years, it is preferred that students learn and practise via potted specimens and slides instead of picture plates. This study aimed to assess the preferred assesment method of pathology practical exercises.
METHODS: This was a cross-sectional survey carried out in two consecutive batches of Phase 2 medical students. Student competency was assessed using both the traditional (TD) (i.e. use of potted specimens and slides) and picture plate (PP) methods. To compare the two assessment methods, we compared the mean scores obtained by the students and examined student perception of the two methods.
RESULTS: The mean scores obtained via the PP method were significantly higher than those obtained via the TD method for almost all the components tested.
CONCLUSION: We found that students performed significantly better (p < 0.05) when assessed using the PP method instead of the TD method. PP preparations might provide better visuals, thus aiding understanding, than the TD method. The findings of this study are valuable in identifying and improving our current teaching and assessment methods of medical students, in line with advancements in information technology.
INTRODUCTION: Fatigue and quality of sleep are the main factors that contribute to a poor quality of life among patients on long-term haemodialysis. Studies have also emphasised the importance of exercise for improving the wellbeing of dialysis patients. This study aimed to determine the effectiveness of a predialysis low-to-moderate-intensity exercise programme for reducing fatigue and improving sleep disorders among long-term haemodialysis patients.
METHODS: In this quasi-experimental study, an exercise programme was conducted three times a week for 12 weeks before long-term haemodialysis patients underwent dialysis at two centres. The patients were categorised into either the exercise group (n = 28) or control group (n = 27). The latter was asked to maintain their current lifestyles. Assessments of fatigue and sleep disorder levels were performed for both groups using self-reported questionnaires at baseline and after intervention. The patients' perception of the exercise programme was also determined using self-reported questionnaires.
RESULTS: Paired sample t-test indicated improvements in fatigue level in the exercise group (mean fatigue score: post-treatment 40.5 ± 7.9 vs. pre-treatment 30.0 ± 10.9). Improvements in sleep disorders were also observed in the exercise group (mean score: post-treatment 7.6 ± 3.3 vs. pre-treatment 10.1 ± 3.8). However, sleep quality deteriorated in the control group (mean score: post-treatment 10.7 ± 2.9 vs. pre-treatment 9.3 ± 2.9).
CONCLUSION: Simple low-to-moderate-intensity exercise is effective for improving fatigue, sleep disorders and the overall quality of life among haemodialysis patients.
INTRODUCTION: Family presence (FP) during resuscitation is an increasingly favoured trend, as it affords many benefits to the critically ill patient's family members. However, a previously conducted study showed that only 15.8% of surveyed Malaysian healthcare staff supported FP during resuscitation.
METHODS: This cross-sectional study used a bilingual self-administered questionnaire to examine the attitudes and perceptions of the general Malaysian public toward the presence of family members during resuscitation of their loved ones. The questionnaires were randomly distributed to Malaysians in three different states and in the federal territory of Kuala Lumpur.
RESULTS: Out of a total of 190 survey forms distributed, 184 responses were included for analysis. Of the 184 respondents, 140 (76.1%) indicated that they favoured FP during resuscitation. The most common reason cited was that FP during resuscitation provides family members with the assurance that everything possible had been done for their loved ones (n = 157, 85.3%). Respondents who had terminal illnesses were more likely to favour FP during resuscitation than those who did not, and this was statistically significant (95.0% vs. 73.8%; p = 0.04).
CONCLUSION: FP during resuscitation was favoured by a higher percentage of the general Malaysian public as compared to Malaysian healthcare staff. This could be due to differences in concerns regarding the resuscitation process between members of the public and healthcare staff.
INTRODUCTION: Hip arthroplasty is commonly performed worldwide. The objective of this study was to determine the diameter of the femoral head in the Malaysian population in relation to gender and race (i.e. among Malay, Chinese and Indian patients).
METHODS: This was a retrospective cross-sectional study performed between January 1995 and December 2006, evaluating the femoral head diameters of all patients aged 50 years and above who underwent hemiarthroplasty at two major hospitals in Malaysia.
RESULTS: A total of 945 femoral heads (663 women, 282 men) were evaluated. The mean age of the patients in our cohort was 75.2 ± 9.4 (range 50-101) years. The mean femoral head diameter (with intact articular cartilage) was 44.9 ± 3.2 (range 38-54) mm. In our study, men had a significantly larger mean femoral head diameter than women (47.7 ± 2.8 mm vs. 43.7 ± 2.4 mm; p < 0.05). Patients of Chinese ethnicity were also found to have significantly larger femoral head diameters, when compared among the three races studied (p < 0.05).
CONCLUSION: Malaysians have a mean femoral head diameter of 44.9 ± 3.2 mm. Among our patients, Chinese patients had a significantly larger femoral head size than Malay and Indian patients. We also found that, in our cohort, men had significantly larger femoral head diameters than women.
INTRODUCTION: Strongyloidiasis is one of the most commonly neglected but clinically important parasitic infections worldwide, especially among immunocompromised patients. Evidence of infection among immunocompromised patients in Malaysia is, however, lacking. In this study, microscopy, real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs) were used to detect Strongyloides stercoralis (S. stercoralis) infection among cancer patients in a Malaysian hospital.
METHODS: A total of 192 stool and serum samples were collected from cancer patients who were receiving chemotherapy with or without steroid treatment at a hospital in northeastern Malaysia. Stool samples were examined for S. stercoralis using parasitological methods and real-time PCR. Serology by ELISA was performed to detect parasite-specific immunoglobulin G (IgG), IgG4 and immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies. For comparison, IgG4- and IgG-ELISAs were also performed on the sera of 150 healthy individuals from the same area.
RESULTS: Of the 192 samples examined, 1 (0.5%) sample was positive for S. stercoralis by microscopy, 3 (1.6%) by real-time PCR, 8 (4.2%) by IgG-ELISA, 6 (3.1%) by IgG4-ELISA, and none was positive by IgE-ELISA. In comparison, healthy blood donors had significantly lower prevalence of parasite-specific IgG (2.67%, p < 0.05) and IgG4 (2.67%, p < 0.05) responses.
CONCLUSION: This study showed that laboratory testing may be considered as a diagnostic investigation for S. stercoralis among immunocompromised cancer patients.
INTRODUCTION: Mortality risk prediction scores are important for benchmarking quality of care in paediatric intensive care units (PICUs). We aimed to benchmark PICU outcomes at our hospital against the Pediatric Index of Mortality 2 (PIM2) mortality risk prediction score, and evaluate differences in diagnosis on admission and outcomes between Malaysian and immigrant children.
METHODS: We prospectively collected demographic and clinical data on paediatric medical patients admitted to the PICU of Sabah Women's and Children's Hospital in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia. The PIM2 risk score for mortality was tabulated.
RESULTS: Of the 131 patients who met the inclusion criteria, data was available for 115 patients. The mean age of the patients was 2.6 ± 3.8 years, with 79% of the cohort aged less than five years. Patients were mainly of Kadazan (38%) and Bajau (30%) descent, and 26% of patients were non-citizens. Leading diagnoses on admission were respiratory (37%), neurological (18%) and infectious (17%) disorders. Out of the 29 patients who died, 23 (79%) were Malaysians and the main mortality diagnostic categories were respiratory disorder (22%), septicaemia (22%), haemato-oncological disease (17%) and neurological disorder (13%). Calculated standardised mortality ratios (SMRs) were not significantly > 1 for any patient category for variables such as age and admission diagnosis. However, infants less than two years old with comorbidities were significantly worse (SMR 2.61, 95% confidence interval 1.02-6.66).
CONCLUSION: The patient profile at our centre was similar to that reported from other PICUs in Asia. The PIM2 score is a useful mortality risk prediction model for our population.
INTRODUCTION: Available data on traumatic cataract in Asian children is primarily confined to South Asian countries. We aimed to describe the demographics, nature of injury and visual outcomes of Malaysian children with traumatic cataract from a suburban area, and discuss the literature on Asian children with this condition.
METHODS: We conducted a retrospective study of 29 children below 17 years of age who were diagnosed with traumatic paediatric cataract and who attended Hospital Universiti Sains Malaysia, Kelantan, Malaysia, between January 2000 and December 2010. Follow-up periods ranged from 12 to 120 months. Demographic data, clinical features, mechanism and extent of injury, and final visual outcome were recorded.
RESULTS: The study population was predominantly male. The right eye was injured in 62.07% of patients. A majority of patients had penetrating injuries, with the most common cause being injury by an organic foreign body (24.14%). Presenting visual acuity worse than 6/60 was observed in 68.97% of patients. Only 34.48% of patients had a final corrected visual acuity of 6/12 and better. 55.18% of patients were operated on within less than one month of their injuries. A majority of children sustained concurrent injuries to the anterior segment structures. Corneal opacity and amblyopia were the most common causes of poor final visual acuity.
CONCLUSION: Health education and awareness are essential tools that can prevent avoidable blindness due to traumatic cataract in the paediatric population. The importance of rehabilitation programmes for these patients should be emphasised.
Melorheostosis is a rare, progressive bone disease accompanied by hyperostosis and soft tissue fibrosis. While affected adults present with contracture and pain, children present with limb length discrepancy and deformity. We report the case of a 20-year-old woman with melorheostosis since childhood who presented with right hand deformity and numbness. Radiographs showed not only a combination of dense sclerosis and opacities, but also the classic 'flowing candle wax' appearance. Radiography can be used to identify melorheostosis, thus preventing unnecessary bone biopsies. Carpal tunnel release revealed the presence of a thickened flexor retinaculum and a degenerated median nerve distal to the retinaculum, but did not show hyperostosis. This case highlights the role of nerve decompression in melorheostosis and the importance of early identification of the disease to prevent unnecessary bone biopsies.
INTRODUCTION: The aim of this study was to evaluate the health-related quality of life (HRQoL) of Malaysian patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) who have cardiovascular disease (CVD), as well as identify the determinants of HRQoL among this cohort of patients.
METHODS: This study was an analytical cross-sectional study involving 313 patients aged 30-78 years (150 men, 163 women; mean age 55.7 ± 9.2 years) who were diagnosed with T2DM (mean duration of T2DM 10.1 ± 8.1 years) at two tertiary Malaysian government hospitals. The patients' sociodemographic, lifestyle, clinical and laboratory data were collected prospectively from medical records and via face-to-face interviews. HRQoL was assessed using the 15D instrument - a generic, 15-dimensional and standardised measure of HRQoL that can be used as both a profile and a single index score measure.
RESULTS: T2DM patients with CVD were found to have significantly lower 15D HRQoL scores than their nonCVD counterparts (p < 0.001). The HRQoL of T2DM patients with CVD was significantly lower than those without CVD (p < 0.05) in all of the 15 dimensions of the 15D instrument. Multinomial logistic regression analysis using backward stepwise method revealed a significant association between CVD and impaired HRQoL (odds ratio [OR] 11.746, 95% confidence interval [CI] 4.898-28.167). Age (OR 1.095, 95% CI 1.054-1.137), duration of T2DM (OR 1.085, 95% CI 1.032-1.140), ethnicity (OR 0.411, 95% CI 0.187-0.903), body mass index (OR 1.074, 95% CI 1.006-1.148), and physical activity level (OR 3.506, 95% CI 1.415-8.689) were also significant predictors of HRQoL.
CONCLUSION: In T2DM patients, the presence of CVD was significantly associated with a lower HRQoL. Therefore, the importance of tertiary prevention to minimise the potential deterioration of the HRQoL of T2DM patients with CVD should be highly emphasised.