OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the psychometrics properties of the Malay version of M-JCQ among nurses in Malaysia.
METHODS: This cross-sectional study was carried out on nurses working in 4 public hospitals in Klang Valley area, Malaysia. M-JCQ was used to assess the perceived psychosocial stressors and physical demands of nurses at their workplaces. Construct validity of the questionnaire was examined using exploratory factor analysis (EFA). Cronbach's α values were used to estimate the reliability (internal consistency) of the M-JCQ.
RESULTS: EFA showed that 34 selected items were loaded in 4 factors. Except for psychological job demand (Cronbach's α 0.51), the remaining 3 α values for 3 subscales (job control, social support, and physical demand) were greater than 0.70, indicating acceptable internal consistency. However, an item was excluded due to poor item-total correlation (r<0.3). The final M-JCQ was consisted of 33 items.
CONCLUSION: The M-JCQ is a reliable and valid instrument to measure psychosocial and physical stressors in the workplace of public hospital nurses in Malaysia.
OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the genotoxic risk among children who exposed to pesticides and measure DNA damage due to pesticides exposure.
METHODS: In a cross-sectional study 180 Orang Asli Mah Meri children aged between 7 and 12 years were studied. They were all living in an agricultural island in Kuala Langat, Selangor, Malaysia. The data for this study were collected via modified validated questionnaire and food frequency questionnaire, which consisted of 131 food items. 6 urinary organophosphate metabolites were used as biomarkers for pesticides exposure. For genotoxic risk or genetic damage assessment, the level of DNA damage from exfoliated buccal mucosa cells was measured using the comet assay electrophoresis method.
RESULTS: Out of 180 respondents, 84 (46.7%) showed positive traces of organophosphate metabolites in their urine. Children with detectable urinary pesticide had a longer tail length (median 43.5; IQR 30.9 to 68.1 μm) than those with undetectable urinary pesticides (median 24.7; IQR 9.5 to 48.1 μm). There was a significant association between the extent of DNA damage and the children's age, length of residence in the area, pesticides detection, and frequency of apple consumption.
CONCLUSION: The organophosphate genotoxicity among children is associated with the amount of exposure (detectability of urinary pesticide) and length of residence in (exposure) the study area.
OBJECTIVE: To identify the work environment-related risk factors for leptospirosis infection among oil palm plantation workers in Malaysia.
METHODS: A cross-sectional study involving 350 workers was conducted. The participants were interviewed and administered a microscopic agglutination test. Seropositivity was determined using a cut-off titer of ≥1:100.
RESULTS: 100 of 350 workers tested positive for leptospiral antibodies, hence, a seroprevalence of 28.6% (95% CI 23.8% to 33.3%). The workplace environment-related risk factors significantly associated with seropositive leptospirosis were the presence of cows in plantations (adjusted OR 4.78, 95% CI 2.76 to 8.26) and the presence of a landfill in plantations (adjusted OR 2.04, 95% CI 1.22 to 3.40).
CONCLUSION: Preventing leptospirosis incidence among oil palm plantation workers necessitates changes in policy on work environments. Identifying modifiable factors may also contribute to the reduction of the infection.
OBJECTIVE: To determine the seroprevalence of leptospirosis among cattle farmers, prevalence of pathogenic Leptospira, and the workplace environmental risk factors for leptospirosis among cattle farmers in northeastern Malaysia.
METHODS: A cross-sectional study involving 120 cattle farmers was conducted. The participants answered an interviewer-guided questionnaire that consisted of sociodemographic and workplace environment characteristics questionnaire, before having their blood sample taken for microscopic agglutination test (MAT). Seropositivity was determined using a cut-off titer of ≥1:100. 248 environmental samples were also collected from the cattle farms for polymerase chain reaction (PCR).
RESULTS: The overall seroprevalence of leptospiral antibodies was 72.5% (95% CI 63.5% to 80.1%) and the prevalence of pathogenic Leptospira in the cattle farms environment was 12.1% (95% CI 8.4% to 17.0%). The independent factors associated with seropositivity of leptospirosis among cattle farmers were positive pathogenic Leptospira in the environment (Adj OR 5.90, 95% CI 1.34 to 26.01) and presence of garbage dumping in the farm (Adj OR 2.40, 95% CI 1.02 to 5.65).
CONCLUSION: Preventing leptospirosis incidence among cattle farmers necessitates changes in work environment. Identifying modifiable factors may also contribute to the reduction of infection.
OBJECTIVE: To determine the prevalence of self-perceived emotional distress and its relation to work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WRMSDs) in nurses.
METHODS: A self-administered questionnaire survey was carried out on 660 female nurses working in public hospitals in the Klang Valley, Malaysia. The validated Malay version of the standardized Nordic musculoskeletal questionnaire (M-SNMQ) was used to identify the annual prevalence of WRMSDs; perceived emotional distress was assessed using the validated Malay short version, depression, anxiety, and stress (M-DASS) instrument. In addition, socio-demographic and occupational profiles of the participants were considered. Factors associated with WRMSDs were identified using logistic regression analysis.
RESULTS: A total of 376 nurses completed the survey (response rate 83.3%). 73.1% of the nursing staffs experienced WRMSDs in at least one anatomical site 12 months prior to the study. 75% of nurses expressed emotional distress. Of these, over half also reported anxiety and stress. Multiple logistic regression analysis showed that stress and anxiety significantly increased the risk of WRMSDs by approximately twofold.
CONCLUSION: There were significant associations between emotional distress and WRMSDs. Future longitudinal studies are therefore needed to investigate and identify the sources of emotional distress (non-occupational and occupational) to be used to establish preventive strategies to reduce the risk of WRMSDs.
OBJECTIVE: To assess and compare the RQoL of the occupationally exposed (firefighters and traffic police) and the occupationally unexposed populations in Penang, Malaysia.
METHODS: We recruited male traffic police and firefighters from 5 districts of Penang by convenient sampling during June to September 2018. Participants completed the SGRQ. Scores (symptoms, activity, impacts, total) were derived using a scoring calculator. Higher scores indicate poorer RQoL. Univariate and multivariate linear regression models were fitted to explore the relationship of the independent predictive factors with participants' RQoL.
RESULTS: We recruited 706 participants---211 firefighters, 198 traffic police, and 297 from general population. Smokers had significantly higher scores than non-smokers in all SGRQ domains. Regardless of smoking status, the "occupationally exposed group" had higher symptoms score than the "occupationally unexposed group," who had higher activity and impact scores. Smoking status, comorbidity status and monthly income were significant independent predictors of SGRQ total score.
CONCLUSION: In comparison with the general population, firefighters and traffic police reported poorer RQoL; smoking further deteriorated their respiratory health. There is a need to strengthen preventive health measures against occupational disease and smoking cessation among firefighters and traffic police.
OBJECTIVE: To identify and summarize occupational hazards among oil palm plantation workers.
METHODS: A search was carried out in June 2018 in PubMed, Web of Science, Scopus, and Ovid. Relevant publications were identified by a systematic search of four databases and relevant journals. Publications were included if they examined occupational hazards in oil palm plantation workers.
RESULTS: 941 publications were identified; of these, 25 studies were found eligible to be included in the final review. Of the 25 studies examined, 19 were conducted in Malaysia, 2 in Costa Rica, and one each in Ghana, Indonesia, Myanmar, Papua New Guinea, and Cameroon. Oil palm plantation workers were found to be at risk of musculoskeletal conditions, injuries, psychosocial disorders, and infectious diseases such as malaria and leptospirosis. In addition, they have potential exposure to paraquat and other pesticides.
CONCLUSION: In light of the potential of palm oil for use as a biofuel, this is an industry with strong growth potential. The workers are exposed to various occupational hazards. Further research and interventions are necessary to improve the working conditions of this already vast and growing workforce.