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1.  Prevalence and factors associated with neck, shoulder and low back pains among medical students in a Malaysian Medical College 
BMC Research Notes  2013;6:244.
Background
The main purpose of the study was to assess the prevalence, body distributions and factors associated with musculoskeletal pain (MSP) among medical students in a private Malaysian medical college.
Method
This cross-sectional study was conducted among 232 medical students in a private medical college using an online questionnaire. The questionnaire was a modified Standardized Nordic Questionnaire focused on neck, shoulder and low back pain in the past week and the past year.
Results
Two hundred and thirty two medical students responded to the questionnaire out of 642. Mean age was 20.7 ± 2.1 years. The majority were female (62.9%), Malay (80.6%) and in the preclinical years (72%). One hundred and six (45.7%) of all students had at least one site of MSP in the past week and 151 (65.1%) had at least one site of MSP in the past year. MSP in the past week was associated significantly with the academic year, (OR 2.0, 95% CI 1.15-3.67, P = 0.015), history of trauma (OR 2.6, 95% CI 1.2-5.3, P = 0.011), family history of MSP (OR 2.1, 95% CI 1.1-3.9, P = 0.023) and Body Mass Index (BMI) (P = 0.028). MSP in the past year was significantly associated with computer use (P = 0.027), daily hours of computer use (median ± IQR (5.0 ±3.0), history of trauma (OR 7.5, 95% CI 2.24-2.56, P < 0.01) and family history of MSP (OR 2.5, 95% CI 1.31-4.90, P = 0.006). On multivariate analysis, factors associated with MSP during the past week were a family history of MSP (p = 0.029) and BMI (p = 0.03). Factors associated with MSP during the past year were being in clinical years (p = 0.002, computer use (p = 0.038), and a history of trauma (p = 0.030).
Conclusion
MSP among medical students was relatively high, thus, further clinical assessment is needed in depth study of ergonomics. The study results indicate that medical school authorities should take measures to prevent MSP due to factors related to medical school. Students should make aware of importance of weight reduction to reduce MSP.
doi:10.1186/1756-0500-6-244
PMCID: PMC3733931  PMID: 23815853
Musculoskeletal pain; Medical students; Malaysia
2.  Factor Structure and Reliability of the Malay Version of the Perceived Stress Scale among Malaysian Medical Students 
Background:
The Perceived Stress Scale 10 (PSS-10) is a validated and reliable instrument to measure global levels of perceived stress. This study aims to assess the internal consistency, reliability, and factor structure of the Malay version of the PSS-10 for use among medical students.
Methods:
The original English version of the PSS-10 was translated and back-translated into Malay language. The Malay version was distributed to 242 Bachelor of Medical Science students in a private university in Malaysia. Test–retest reliability was assessed in 70 students. An exploratory principal component factor analysis with varimax rotation was performed. Reliability was tested using the intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC).
Results:
All 242 students participated in the initial questionnaire study (validity and factor structure), and 70 students participated in the test–retest reliability of the study. Exploratory factor analysis yielded 2 factors that accounted for 57.8% of the variance. Cronbach’s alpha coefficients for the 2 factors were 0.85 and 0.70, respectively. The reliability test showed an ICC of 0.82 (95% CI: 0.70, 0.89).
Conclusion:
The Malay version of the PSS-10 showed adequate psychometric properties. It is a useful instrument for measuring stress among medical students in Malaysia.
PMCID: PMC3684234  PMID: 23785249
Malaysia; medical; psychological; reliability and validity; stress; students
3.  Use of complementary and alternative medicine among asthmatic patients in primary care clinics in Malaysia 
Annals of Thoracic Medicine  2011;6(3):115-119.
OBJECTIVES:
This study aimed to determine the knowledge about asthma and the prevalence, disclosure and evaluation of the use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) among asthmatic patients.
METHODS:
This cross-sectional study was conducted on 95 patients diagnosed with asthma in a primary healthcare centre in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia using a self-administered questionnaire.
RESULTS:
Ninety-five patients with a mean age of 47.06 years (±12.8) participated, the majority were female (66.7%), Malay (72.6%). The prevalence of ever-CAM use was 61.1%. The non-ever-CAM users’ mean age was 51±13.9 years while the ever-CAM users’ mean age was 44.5 ±11.5 years (P = 0.021). Sixty-three females (66.8%) used CAM compared to 14 males (43.8%) (P = 0.014). Thirty-six (62.1%) CAM users had not discussed use of CAM with their doctors. The main reason of non-disclosure was the doctor never asked (55.6%), and the main sources of information about CAM were family and relatives (46.6%). There was no significant difference between use of CAM and knowledge about asthma. The majority of asthmatic patients used rubs (39%), foods (16.9%) and herbs (16.9%). About 76% of asthmatic patients perceived CAM as good for their disease management. On linear multiple regression, Malay race (P = 0.026) and female gender (P = 0.006) were significant predictors of CAM use.
CONCLUSION:
Use of CAM among asthmatic patients is relatively high, particularly among females. The majority of asthmatic patients valued the use of CAM. Non-disclosure was high in this study. Health education of asthmatic patients about CAM is highly recommended.
doi:10.4103/1817-1737.82438
PMCID: PMC3131752  PMID: 21760841
Asthma; complementary and alternative medicine; disclosure; Malaysia
4.  Stress and Coping Strategies of Students in a Medical Faculty in Malaysia 
Background:
Stress may affect students’ health and their academic performance. Coping strategies are specific efforts that individuals employ to manage stress. This study aimed to assess the perception of stress among medical students and their coping strategies.
Methods:
A cross-sectional study was conducted among 376 medical and medical sciences undergraduates in Management and Science University in Malaysia. Stress was assessed by a global rating of stress. Sources of stress were assessed using a 17-item questionnaire. The validated Brief COPE inventory was used to assess coping strategies.
Results:
The majority of respondents were females (64.4%), aged 21 years or older (63.0%), and were Malays (68.9%). Forty-six percent felt stress. The most common stressor was worries of the future (71.0%), followed by financial difficulties (68.6%). Significant predictors of stress were smoking (OR = 2.9, 95% CI 1.3–6.8, P = 0.009), worries of the future (OR = 2.1, 95% CI 1.3–3.4, P = 0.005), self-blame (OR = 1.3, 95% CI 1.1–1.5, P = 0.001), lack of emotional support (OR = 0.8, 95% CI 0.7–0.9, P = 0.017), and lack of acceptance (OR = 0.8, 95% CI 0.6–0.9, P = 0.010). Students used active coping, religious coping reframing, planning, and acceptance to cope with stress.
Conclusion:
Stressors reported by the students were mainly financial and academic issues. Students adopted active coping strategies rather than avoidance. Students should receive consultation on how to manage and cope with stress.
PMCID: PMC3216229  PMID: 22135602
coping skills; Malaysia; medical school; social support; stress; students

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