METHODS: Research impact of universal access and quality healthcare projects funded by the National Institutes of Health Malaysia were assessed based on the modified Payback Framework, addressing categories of informing policy, knowledge production, and benefits to health and health sector. For the HRPS process, the Child Health and Nutrition Research Initiative methodology was adapted and adopted, with the incorporation of stakeholder values using weights and monetary allocation survey. Workshop discussions and interviews with stakeholders and research groups were conducted to identify research gaps, with the use of conceptual frameworks to guide the search.
RESULTS: Seventeen ongoing and 50 completed projects were identified for research funding impact analysis. Overall, research fund allocation differed from stakeholders' expectation. For research impact, 48 out of 50 completed projects (96.0%) contributed to some form of policy-making efforts. Almost all completed projects resulted in outputs that contributed to knowledge production and were expected to lead to health and health sector benefits. The HRPS process led to the identification of research priority areas that stemmed from ongoing and new issues identified for universal access and quality healthcare.
CONCLUSION: The concerted efforts of evaluation of research funding impact, prioritisation, dissemination and policy-maker involvement were valuable for optimal health research resource utilisation in a resource constrained developing country. Embedding impact evaluation into a priority setting process and funding research based on national needs could facilitate health research investment to reach its potential.
DESIGN: The Healthy Food-Environment Policy Index (Food-EPI) comprises forty-seven indicators of government policy practice. Local evidence of each indicator was compiled from government institutions and verified by related government stakeholders. The extent of implementation of the policies was rated by experts against international best practices. Rating results were used to identify and propose policy actions which were subsequently prioritised by the experts based on 'importance' and 'achievability' criteria. The policy actions with relatively higher 'achievability' and 'importance' were set as priority recommendations for government action.
SUBJECTS: Twenty-six local experts.
RESULTS: Majority (62 %) of indicators was rated 'low' implementation with no indicator rated as either 'high' or 'very little, if any' in terms of implementation. The top five recommendations were (i) restrict unhealthy food marketing in children's settings and (ii) on broadcast media; (iii) mandatory nutrition labelling for added sugars; (iv) designation of priority research areas related to obesity prevention and diet-related non-communicable diseases; and (v) introduce energy labelling on menu boards for fast-food outlets.
CONCLUSIONS: This first policy study conducted in Malaysia identified a number of gaps in implementation of key policies to promote healthy food environments, compared with international best practices. Study findings could strengthen civil society advocacies for government accountability to create a healthier food environment.
METHODS: Using qualitative study method, a phone interview was conducted with 16 patients to elicit their views on the reasons for failure to attend the colonoscopy procedure following a positive stool test. The interviews were audio recorded, transcribed verbatim and translated before proceeded with the data analysis. Content analysis was made on the translated interview, followed by systematic classification of data by major themes.
RESULTS: Reasons for nonattendance were categorized under five main themes; unnecessary test, fear of the procedure, logistic obstacles (subthemes; time constraint, transportation problem), social influences, and having other health priority. Lacking in information about the procedure during the referral process was identified to cause misperception and unnecessary worry towards colonoscopy. Fear of the procedure was commonly cited by female respondents while logistic issues pertaining to time constraint were raised by working respondents.
CONCLUSIONS: More effective communication between patients and health care providers are warranted to avoid misconception regarding colonoscopy procedure. Support from primary care doctors, customer-friendly appointment system, use of educational aids and better involvement from family members were among the strategies to increase colonoscopy compliance.