METHODS: Thirty-eight women who use drugs were interviewed using a semi-structured topic guide in Kelantan, Penang, Johor, Kuala Lumpur, and Selangor. Locations were chosen purposively. Nineteen women were interviewed individually and the remaining 19 were in focus group discussions (FGDs). All interviews were transcribed verbatim, translated to English, and analyzed with NVivo.
RESULTS: Median age of respondents was 35.5 years old, 89.5% ethnic Malays, majority having married below the age of 20, and were of low socioeconomic backgrounds. Youngest age of initiation into drug use was 9 years old. Most reported is inhalation of amphetamine-type substances. Seven reported ever injecting. Three themes emerged: (a) repeating patterns of fluid family structures and instability; (b) "pain" and "difficulty" as features of home life; and (c) seeking marriage as a source of stabilization and practices of power within those marriages. Respondents often came from very fluid family environments and married to find stability, only to be drawn into a similar cycle. None of the women who had been separated from their children either institutionally, by family members, or by third parties, had accessed legal recourse for the loss of their parental rights.
CONCLUSION: Unstable familial relationships or environments contributed to earlier initiation of drug use which raised questions about support services for WWUD and children who use drugs. Respondents were drawn into unstable and/or abusive relationships, perpetuating social inequalities that marked their own familial environments during childhood. These findings support the need for additional services to support the unique needs of WWUD, including domestic violence services, financial and life skills, parental rights assistance, and empowerment programs.
METHODS: The present study was a cross-sectional survey conducted from September to November 2001. Schoolchildren were recruited from primary schools that were selected randomly from a list of all primary schools in Petaling Jaya, Malaysia, using random sampling numbers. Information concerning recurrent abdominal pain, socio-economic status, life events, demographic and other details was obtained using a combination of questionnaires and interviews. Academic achievement was assessed using a score based on the Malaysian Primary School Achievement Examination. An overall score at or above the mean was taken to indicate high academic achievement while a score below the mean indicated poor academic achievement.
RESULTS: A total of 1971 children were studied (958 boys and 1013 girls: 1047 Malays, 513 Chinese and 411 Indians). Of these children, 456 (23.1%) fulfilled the criteria for recurrent abdominal pain. Using the method of binary logistic regression analysis, the following factors were found to be independently associated with poor academic performance: a low socio-economic status (odds ratio (OR) 1.30; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.25-1.35); male sex (OR 1.61; 95% CI 1.26-2.05); the death of a close relative (OR 2.22; 95% CI 1.73-2.85); the divorce or separation of parents (OR 3.05; 95% CI 1.73-5.40); the commencement of work by the mother (OR 1.34; 95% CI 1.02-1.76); hospitalization of the child in the 12 months prior to the study (OR 1.83; 95% CI 1.12-3.01); lack of health-care consultation (OR 1.80; 95% CI 1.36-2.36); missing breakfast (OR 1.47; 95% CI 1.07-2.02); and lack of kindergarten education (OR 1.35; 95% CI 1.04-1.75).
CONCLUSIONS: Many factors, such as socio-economic status and recent life events, were associated with poor academic performance. Recurrent abdominal pain did not correlate directly to academic performance. Stress may be a means by which various factors cause children to struggle academically.
METHODOLOGY: Questionnaires were distributed to all parents and teachers of children aged 11-12 years who attended a small rural school in which all the children were Malays. Complaints of RAP were defined as at least three such complaints occurring over a period of at least 3 months.
RESULTS: One hundred and sixty questionnaires were distributed, of which 148 were returned, giving a response rate of 92.5%. Sixty-one children (41.2%) had RAP. Approximately 45.2% of girls and 35.9% of boys reported having RAP. Compared with children without RAP, there was a significantly larger number of children with RAP (85.2%) who had at least one stress factor (P = 0.0109). There were no significant associations between RAP and total family income (P = 0.0573), a history of abdominal pain in at least one parent (P = 0.1686), a history of abdominal pain in at least one sibling (P = 0.0617), academic performance (P = 0.9967) or the degree of sports participation (P = 0.8469). There was an increased incidence of other systemic complaints in children with RAP when compared with children without RAP.
CONCLUSION: Recurrent abdominal pain was found to be common among 11- to 12-year-old children in a rural Malay school. There was a significant association found between RAP and the presence of stressful events, as well as with the presence of other systemic complaints.
METHOD: This is a cross-sectional study of schoolchildren aged 9-15 years based in Kuala Langat, a rural district located in the south-west of the Malaysian state of Selangor. Schoolchildren were selected randomly and given questionnaires to fill in. This was followed by interview with the children on the same day by one of the authors (CCMB) to ensure consistency of response. Recurrent abdominal pain was defined as 'at least three episodes of abdominal pain, severe enough to affect their activities over a period longer than three months' . The children were also asked to answer either 'yes' or 'no' to whether they had experienced various life events in the previous year.
RESULTS: A sample of 1462 schoolchildren (722 boys and 740 girls) aged between 9 and 15 years were included in the study. There were 768 Malays, 393 Chinese and 301 Indians. Of these 1462 children, 161 (11.0%) had recurrent abdominal pain. On performing multiple logistic regression analysis, two life events were significantly associated with recurrent abdominal pain: death of a family member (P = 0.008; odds ratio 0.61, 95% CI 0.43-0.88) and a change in occupation of an immediate family member (P = 0.003; odds ratio 0.53, 95% CI 0.35-0.81).
CONCLUSION: This study suggests that recurrent abdominal pain in children is associated with recent stressful life events in the children's lives.
METHOD: Guidelines for the process of cross-cultural adaptations of assessment measures were implemented. A sample of 303 young military recruits participated in the study. Factor structure, reliability, and validity of scores on the PCS-MY were examined. Convergent validity was investigated with the Positive and Negative Affect Scale, Short-form 12 version 2, and Ryff's Psychological Well-being Scale.
RESULTS: Most participants were men, ranging in age from 19 to 26. The reliability of the PCS-MY scores was adequate (α = 0.90; mean inter-item correlation = 0.43). Confirmatory factor analysis showed that a modified version of the PCS-MY provided best fit estimates to the sample data. The PCS-MY total score was negatively correlated with mental well-being and positively correlated with negative affect (all ps < 0.001).
CONCLUSION: The PCS-MY was demonstrated to have adequate reliability and validity estimates in the study sample.
OBJECTIVES: To assess the prevalence of self-reported low back pain (LBP), and neck and/or shoulder pain (NSP) among secondary school teachers; and to evaluate the association of LBP and NSP with psychological distress and work-related psychosocial factors.
METHODS: This was a cross-sectional study conducted among teachers in the state of Penang, Malaysia. The participants were recruited via a two stage sampling method. Information on demographic, psychological distress, work-related psychosocial factors, and musculoskeletal pain (LBP and NSP) in the past 12 months was collected using a self-administered questionnaire. Poisson regression was used to estimate the prevalence ratio (PR) for the associations between psychological distress and work-related psychosocial factors with LBP and NSP.
RESULTS: The prevalence of self-reported LBP and NSP among 1482 teachers in the past 12 months was 48.0% (95% Confidence Interval (CI) 45.2%, 50.9%) and 60.1% (95% CI 57.4%, 62.9%) respectively. From the multivariate analysis, self-reported LBP was associated with teachers who reported severe to extremely severe depression (PR: 1.71, 95% CI 1.25, 2.32), severe to extremely severe anxiety (1.46, 95% CI 1.22, 1.75), high psychological job demand (1.29, 95% CI 1.06, 1.57), low skill discretion (1.28, 95% CI 1.13, 1.47) and poorer mental health (0.98, 95% CI 0.97, 0.99). Self-reported NSP was associated with mild to moderate anxiety (1.18, 95% CI 1.06, 1.33), severe to extremely severe anxiety (1.25, 95% CI 1.09, 1.43), low supervisory support (1.13, 95% CI 1.03, 1.25) and poorer mental health (0.98, 95% CI 0.97, 0.99).
CONCLUSIONS: Self-reported LBP and NSP were common among secondary school teachers. Interventions targeting psychological distress and work-related psychosocial characteristics may reduce musculoskeletal pain among school teachers.