Sultan Qaboos University Medical Journal, an internationally peer-reviewed multidisciplinary journal, is published quarterly in print and online with free access to full text articles. Its aims are: to be an internationally recognised regional medium of biomedical communication; to encourage medical research and publication in Oman, the Gulf and further afield, and to create awareness of new developments among health professionals in Oman and beyond. SQUMJ is listed in PubMed and indexed in SCOPUS, the Directory of Open Access Journals, the Al Manhal database of Arab journals and the WHO Index Medicus for the Eastern Mediterranean Region. SQUMJ DOES NOT CHARGE AUTHORS FOR SUBMISSION OR PUBLICATION.
SQUMJ is an Open Access Journal. This means that all content is freely available without charge to the user or his/her institution. Users are allowed to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of the articles in this journal without asking prior permission from the publisher or the author. This is in accordance with the Budapest Open Access Initiative (BOAI) definition of open access.
Graduated Driver Licensing
An international review(Review) Lyndel J. Bates, Siobhan Allen, Kerry Armstrong, Barry Watson, Mark J. King, Jeremy Davey
ABSTRACT: Graduated driver licensing (GDL) aims to gradually increase the exposure of new drivers to more complex driving situations and typically consists of learner, provisional and open licence phases. The first phase, the learner licence, is designed to allow novice drivers to obtain practical driving experience in lower risk situations. The learner licence can delay licensure, encourage novice drivers to learn under supervision, mandate the number of hours of practice required to progress to the next phase and encourage parental involvement. The second phase, the provisional licence, establishes various driving restrictions and thereby reduces exposure to situations of higher risk, such as driving at night, with passengers or after drinking alcohol. Parental involvement with a GDL system appears essential in helping novices obtain sufficient practice and in enforcing compliance with restrictions once the new driver obtains a provisional licence. Given the significant number of young drivers involved in crashes within Oman, GDL is one countermeasure that may be beneficial in reducing crash risk and involvement for this group.
Keywords: Traffic Accidents; Public Health; Accident Prevention; Safety; Automobile Driving.
Advancing Tobacco Dependence Treatment Services in the Eastern Mediterranean Region
International collaboration for training and capacity-building(Review) Feras I. Hawari and Rasha K. Bader
ABSTRACT: Tobacco use negatively affects health and is a major risk factor for non-communicable diseases (NCDs). Today, tobacco use ranks third among risk factors in North Africa and the Middle East in terms of disease burden. Despite the established need for these services, tobacco dependence treatment (TDT) services are still inadequate in the Eastern Mediterranean region (EMR). Among the main challenges hindering their expansion is the current lack of training opportunities. The provision of training and capacity-building—a key enabler of TDT—offers an excellent catalyst to launch TDT services in the region. This review discusses the need for TDT training in the EMR and describes a model for providing regional evidence-based training in line with international standards. The King Hussein Cancer Center in Amman, Jordan, is the regional host for Global Bridges, a worldwide TDT initiative. Using this model, they have trained 1,500 professionals and advocates from the EMR over the past three years.
Mechanical Prosthetic Valves and Pregnancy
A therapeutic dilemma of anticoagulation(Review) Prashanth Panduranga, Mohammed El-Deeb, Chitra Jha
ABSTRACT: Choosing the best anticoagulant therapy for a pregnant patient with a mechanical prosthetic valve is controversial and the published international guidelines contain no clear-cut consensus on the best approach. This is due to the fact that there is presently no anticoagulant which can reliably decrease thromboembolic events while avoiding damage to the fetus. Current treatments include either continuing oral warfarin or substituting warfarin for subcutaneous unfractionated heparin or low-molecular-weight heparin (LMWH) in the first trimester (6–12 weeks) or at any point throughout the pregnancy. However, LMWH, while widely-prescribed, requires close monitoring of the blood anti-factor Xa levels. Unfortunately, facilities for such monitoring are not universally available, such as within hospitals in developing countries. This review evaluates the leading international guidelines concerning anticoagulant therapy in pregnant patients with mechanical prosthetic valves as well as proposing a simplified guideline which may be more relevant to hospitals in this region.
Metabolic Syndrome and Its Components
Secondary analysis of the World Health Survey, Oman(Original Study) Mahmoud Abd El-Aty, Ruth Mabry, Magdi Morsi, Jawad Al-Lawati, Asya Al-Riyami, Medhat El-Sayed
ABSTRACT:Objectives: The study aimed to describe the prevalence of metabolic syndrome (MS) and its components among Omani adults. Methods: The 2008 Oman World Health Survey dataset was used to determine the national prevalence of MS. Logistic regression using all key sociodemographic, clinical and behavioural variables was used to identify the associations of independent variables with MS. Results: The age-adjusted prevalence of MS was 23.6%. MS was significantly associated with age, marital and work status and wealth level. MS was more common for people aged 50 years and older compared to the youngest cohort (OR 3.6, CI: 2.4–5.3; P <0.001) and in people who were married or employed (OR 1.6, CI: 1.3–2.1; P <0.001 and OR 1.3, CI: 1.1–1.8; P = 0.043, respectively) compared to their unmarried and unemployed counterparts. MS was also more common in people in the second lowest wealth quintile (OR 1.6, CI: 1.2–2.2; P = 0.05) compared to the lowest quintile and in those who sat for more than six hours per day (OR 1.3, CI: 1.1-1.7; P = 0.035). Conclusion: One in four adults had MS in Oman. This may fuel the epidemic of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in Oman, particularly given the increasingly elderly population. Urgent action is required to ensure quality patient care at all levels of the healthcare system. Further research on behavioural risk factors is needed. Developing and implementing a multisectoral strategy to prevent NCDs should be at the top of the current health agenda for Oman. Keywords: Metabolic Syndrome X; Chronic Diseases; Epidemiology; Public Health; Oman.
Non-Invasive Haemoglobin Estimation in Patients with Thalassaemia Major
(Original Study) Murtadha K. Al Khabori, Arwa Z. Al-Riyami, Khalil Al-Farsi, Mohammed Al-Huneini, Abdulhakeem Al-Hashim, Nasser Al-Kemyani, Issa Al-Qarshoubi, Hammad Khan, Khalfan Al-Amrani, Shahina Daar
ABSTRACT:Objectives: This study aimed to validate pulse CO-oximetry-based haemoglobin (Hb) estimation in children and adults with thalassaemia major (TM) and to determine the impact of different baseline variables on the accuracy of the estimation. Methods: This observational study was conducted over a five-week period from March to April 2012. A total of 108 patients with TM attending the daycare thalassaemia centre of a tertiary care hospital in Muscat, Oman, were enrolled. Spot (Sp) Hb measurements were estimated using a Pronto-7® pulse CO-oximetry device (Masimo Corp., Irvine, California, USA). These were compared to venous samples of Hb using the CELL-DYN Sapphire Hematology Analyzer (Abbott Diagnostics, Abbott Park, Illinois, USA) to determine the reference (Ref) Hb levels. A multivariable linear regression model was used to assess the impact of baseline variables such as age, gender, weight, height, Ref Hb and blood pressure on the Hb estimations. Results: Of the 108 enrolled patients, there were 54 males and 54 females with a mean age of 21.6 years (standard deviation [SD] = 7.3 years; range: 2.5–38 years). The mean Ref Hb and Sp Hb were 9.4 g/dL (SD = 0.9 g/dL; range: 7.5–12.3 g/dL) and 11.1 g/dL (SD = 1.2 g/dL; range: 7.5–14.7 g/dL), respectively. The coefficient of determination (R2) was 21% with a mean difference of 1.7 g/dL (SD = 1.1 g/dL; range: −0.9–4.3 g/dL). In the multivariable model, the Ref Hb level (P = 0.001) was the only statistically significant predictor. Conclusion: The Pronto-7® pulse CO-oximetry device was found to overestimate Hb levels in patients with TM and therefore cannot be recommended. Further larger studies are needed to confirm these results. Keywords: beta Thalassemia; Validation Studies; Hemoglobin; Pulse Oximetry.
The Correlation between Electroencephalography Amplitude and Interictal Abnormalities
Audit study(Original Study) Sami F. Al-Rawas, Rajesh P. Poothrikovil, Khidir M. Abdelbasit, Robert S. Delamont
ABSTRACT:Objectives: The aim of this study was to establish the relationship between background amplitude and interictal abnormalities in routine electroencephalography (EEG). Methods: This retrospective audit was conducted between July 2006 and December 2009 at the Department of Clinical Physiology at Sultan Qaboos University Hospital (SQUH) in Muscat, Oman. A total of 1,718 electroencephalograms (EEGs) were reviewed. All EEGs were from patients who had been referred due to epilepsy, syncope or headaches. EEGs were divided into four groups based on their amplitude: group one ≤20 μV; group two 21–35 μV; group three 36–50 μV, and group four >50 μV. Interictal abnormalities were defined as epileptiform discharges with or without associated slow waves. Abnormalities were identified during periods of resting, hyperventilation and photic stimulation in each group. Results: The mean age ± standard deviation of the patients was 27 ± 12.5 years. Of the 1,718 EEGs, 542 (31.5%) were abnormal. Interictal abnormalities increased with amplitude in all four categories and demonstrated a significant association (P <0.05). A total of 56 EEGs (3.3%) had amplitudes that were ≤20 μV and none of these showed interictal epileptiform abnormalities. Conclusion: EEG amplitude is an important factor in determining the presence of interictal epileptiform abnormalities in routine EEGs. This should be taken into account when investigating patients for epilepsy. A strong argument is made for considering long-term EEG monitoring in order to identify unexplained seizures which may be secondary to epilepsy. It is recommended that all tertiary institutions provide EEG telemetry services.
Fluctuation in the Levels of Immunoglobulin M and Immunoglobulin G Antibodies for Cardiolipin and β2-Glycoprotein among Healthy Pregnant Women
(Original Study) Mohammed S. Al-Balushi, Sidgi S. Hasson, Elias A. Said, Juma Z. Al-Busaidi, Muna S. Al-Daihani, Mohammed S. Othman, Talal A. Sallam, Mohammed A. Idris, Moza Al-Kalbani, Nicholas Woodhouse, Ali A. Al-Jabri
ABSTRACT:Objectives: Antiphospholipid antibodies fluctuate during a healthy normal pregnancy. This study aimed to investigate the levels of both immunoglobulin M (IgM) and immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibodies for cardiolipin and β2-glycoprotein (β2GP) among healthy pregnant women. Methods: This study was conducted between May 2010 and December 2012. A total of 75 healthy Omani pregnant women with no history of autoimmune disease were investigated during their pregnancy and 90 days after delivery at the Armed Forces Hospital in Muscat, Oman. A control group of 75 healthy Omani non-pregnant women were also investigated as a comparison. Levels of IgM and IgG antibodies for both anti-cardiolipin antibodies (ACAs) and β2GP were measured using a standard enzymelinked immunosorbent assay. Results: The ACA IgM levels were significantly higher in the control group compared to the pregnant women (P <0.001). No significant differences were observed in the ACA IgM levels between the control group and the pregnant women after delivery. In contrast, ACA IgG levels were significantly higher during pregnancy and after delivery compared with those of the healthy control group (P = 0.007 and 0.002, respectively). The levels of β2GP IgG were significantly higher during pregnancy than after delivery and in the control group (P = 0.001 and <0.001, respectively). Conclusion: In this study, ACA IgG levels increased during healthy pregnancies and after normal deliveries whereas β2GP IgG levels increased transiently during the pregnancies. Both phenomena were found to be significantly associated with a transient decline in the levels of IgM specific for these antigens. Therefore, the levels of these antibodies may be regulated during a healthy pregnancy. Keywords: Anticardiolipin Antibodies; beta 2-Glycoprotein I; Pregnancy; Women; Oman
Co-Application of Corticosterone and Growth Hormone Upregulates NR2B Protein and Increases the NR2B:NR2A Ratio and Synaptic Transmission in the Hippocampus
(Original Study) Ghada S. Mahmoud and Ayman S. Amer
ABSTRACT:Objectives: This in vitro study aimed to investigate the possible mechanism underlying the protective effect of growth hormone (GH) on hippocampal function during periods of heightened glucocorticoid exposure. Methods: This study was conducted between January and June 2005 at the Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine, Marshall University, in Huntington, West Virginia, USA. The effects of the co-application of GH and corticosterone (CORT) were tested at different concentrations on the field excitatory postsynaptic potentials (fEPSPs) of the hippocampal slices of rats in two different age groups. Changes in the protein expression of N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) subunits NR1, NR2B and NR2A were measured in hippocampal brain slices treated with either artificial cerebrospinal fluid (ACSF), low doses of CORT alone or both CORT and GH for three hours. Results: The co-application of CORT and GH was found to have an additive effect on hippocampal synaptic transmission compared to either drug alone. Furthermore, the combined use of low concentrations of GH and CORT was found to have significantly higher effects on the enhancement of fEPSPs in older rats compared to young ones. Both GH and CORT enhanced the protein expression of the NR2A subunit. Simultaneous exposure to low concentrations of GH and CORT significantly enhanced NR2B expression and increased the NR2B:NR2A ratio. In contrast, perfusion with CORT alone caused significant suppression in the NR1 and NR2B protein expression and a decrease in the NR2B:NR2A ratio. Conclusion: These results suggest that NMDARs provide a potential target for mediating the GH potential protective effect against stress and age-related memory and cognitive impairment.
Antibiotic Prescribing Trends in an Omani Paediatric Population
(Original Study) Khalid Al-Balushi, Fatma Al-Ghafri, Fatma Al-Sawafi, Ibrahim Al-Zakwani
ABSTRACT:Objectives: This study aimed to evaluate antibiotic prescribing patterns for paediatric patients at Sultan Qaboos University Hospital (SQUH), a tertiary care hospital in Muscat, Oman. Methods: This retrospective cross-sectional study included all 1,186 prescriptions issued for 499 patients at the paediatric outpatient clinic and paediatric inpatient ward at SQUH between March and May 2012. Results: Of the 499 patients, 138 (27.6%) were prescribed a total of 28 different antibiotics. A total of 185 (15.6%) antibiotic prescriptions were issued among the total drug prescriptions. Preschool children aged 0–6 years were prescribed antibiotics most frequently (n = 110). Co-amoxiclav was the most commonly prescribed antibiotic in both inpatients and outpatients (27.0% and 33.9%, respectively), followed by cefuroxime in inpatients (13.5%) and azithromycin in outpatients (18.6%). Co-amoxiclav was the most commonly prescribed antibiotic in both 0–6 (31.3%) and 7–11 (23.3%) year-olds, while cefuroxime was most commonly prescribed in children ≥12 years old (25.0%). Conclusion: Antibiotic prescription patterns in this population were similar to those in North America, Europe and Asia. To confirm the findings of this study, further research on antibiotic prescription trends across the wider paediatric population of Oman should be initiated. Keywords: Antibiotics; Pediatrics; Drug Prescription, trends; Oman.
Comparison of Postoperative Pain in Children with Two Intracapsular Tonsillotomy Techniques and a Standard Tonsillectomy
Microdebrider and radiofrequency tonsillotomies versus standard tonsillectomies(Original Study) Levente Deak, David Saxton, Keith Johnston, Palma Benedek, Gábor Katona
ABSTRACT:Objectives: The aim of this study was to compare the duration and severity of postoperative pain for two different tonsillotomy techniques (radiofrequency [RF] and microdebrider [MD]) with the standard tonsillectomy. Methods: This non-randomised retrospective study, carried out from February 2011 to September 2012, investigated 128 children in two independent centres: Heim Pál Children’s Hospital in Budapest, Hungary, and Muscat Private Hospital in Muscat, Oman. Those undergoing conventional tonsillectomies acted as the control group. One centre tested the MD technique (n = 28) while the other centre tested the RF technique (n = 31). Results: The pain-free period after the tonsillotomies was similar between the two techniques and ranged up to three days. Other indicators of pain resolution, like the use of a single analgesic, reduced night-time waking and the time taken to resume a normal diet, were also similar for the two groups. However, patients benefited significantly from having a tonsillotomy rather than a tonsillectomy. Conclusion: The partial resectioning of tonsillar tissue using the MD and RF techniques showed promising outcomes for a better postoperative quality of life when compared to a traditional tonsillectomy. In this study, the results of both the MD and RF tonsillotomy methods were almost identical in terms of the duration of postoperative pain and recovery time. Keywords: Quality of Life; Postoperative Pain; Obstructive Sleep Apnoea; Tonsillotomy; Tonsillectomy.
Increased Resistin Levels in Intra-abdominal Sepsis
Correlation with proinflammatory cytokines & Acute Physiology & Chronic Health Evaluation II scores(Original Study) Tonguç U. Yilmaz, Mustafa Kerem, Canan Y. Demirtaş, Özge Pasaoǧlu, Öge Taşcilar, Ömer Şakrak, Kürşat Dikmen, Tarkan Karahan
ABSTRACT:Objectives: Resistin, a hormone secreted from adipocytes and considered to be a likely cause of insulin resistance, has recently been accepted as a proinflammatory cytokine. This study aimed to determine the correlation between resistin levels in patients with intra-abdominal sepsis and mortality. Methods: Of 45 patients with intraabdominal sepsis, a total of 35 adult patients were included in the study. This study was undertaken from December 2011 to December 2012 and included patients who had no history of diabetes mellitus and who were admitted to the general surgery intensive care units of Gazi University and Bülent Ecevit University School of Medicine, Turkey. Evaluations were performed on 12 patients with sepsis, 10 patients with severe sepsis, 13 patients with septic shock and 15 healthy controls. The patients’ plasma resistin, interleukin-6 (IL-6), tumour necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α), interleukin-1 beta (IL-1β), procalcitonin, lactate and glucose levels and Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation (APACHE) II scores were studied daily for the first five days after admission. A correlation analysis of serum resistin levels with cytokine levels and APACHE II scores was performed. Results: Serum resistin levels in patients with sepsis were significantly higher than in the healthy controls (P <0.001). A significant correlation was found between serum resistin levels and APACHE II scores, serum IL-6, IL-1β, TNF-α, procalcitonin, lactate and glucose levels. Furthermore, a significant correlation was found between serum resistin levels and all-cause mortality (P = 0.02). Conclusion: The levels of resistin were significantly positively correlated with the severity of disease and were a possible mediator of a prolonged inflammatory state in patients with intra-abdominal sepsis. Keywords: Resistin; Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome; Sepsis; Shock; Cytokines; APACHE II; Intra-Abdominal Infections.
Opportunistic Infections and Complications in Human Immunodeficiency Virus-1-Infected Children
Correlation with immune status(Original Study) Jaivinder Yadav, Sanjeev Nanda, Deepak Sharma
ABSTRACT:Objectives: The aim of this study was to ascertain the correlation between various opportunistic infections and complications in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-1-infected children and the immune status of these patients, evaluated by absolute cluster of differentiation 4 (CD4) count and CD4 percentage. Methods: This study was conducted from January 2009 to June 2010 at the Antiretroviral Treatment Centre of the Pt. B.D. Sharma Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences, a tertiary care hospital in Rohtak, Haryana, in northern India. A total of 20 HIV-1-infected children aged 4–57 months were studied. Demographic and baseline investigations were performed prior to the start of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART). A fixed-dose combination of HAART was given based on the patient’s weight. Baseline investigations were repeated after six months of HAART. Results: There was a significant increase in the patients’ haemoglobin, weight, height and CD4 count after six months of HAART. Significant improvements (P <0.05) were also noted in the patients’ immune status, graded according to the World Health Organization. Conclusion: This study observed that the severity and frequency of opportunistic complications in paediatric patients with HIV-1 increased with a fall in the CD4 count. The treatment of opportunistic infections, along with antiretroviral therapy, may lead to both clinical and immunological recovery as well as a decreased incidence of future opportunistic infections. The CD4 count may give treating physicians an initial idea about the immune status of each child and could also be used as a biological marker of HAART efficacy. Patient compliance must be ensured during HAART as this is a key factor in improving outcomes.
Keywords: AIDS; Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy; AIDS-Related Opportunistic Infections; CD4 Lymphocyte Count; India.
Assessment of Breast Cancer Awareness among Female University Students in Ajman, United Arab Emirates
(Original Study) Shatha S. Al-Sharbatti, Rizwana B. Shaikh, Elsheba Mathew, Mawahib A. Al-Biate
ABSTRACT:Objectives: The aim of this study was to assess female university students’ knowledge of breast cancer and its preventative measures and to identify their main misconceptions regarding breast cancer. Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted between April 2011 and June 2012 and included female students from three large universities in Ajman, United Arab Emirates (UAE). A stratified random sampling procedure was used. Data were collected through a validated, pilot-tested, self-administered questionnaire. The questionnaire included 35 questions testing knowledge of risk factors, warning signs and methods for the early detection of breast cancer. Participants’ opinions regarding breast cancer misconceptions were also sought. Results: The participants (n = 392) were most frequently between 18 and 22 years old (63.5%), non-Emirati (90.1%) and never married (89%). A family history of breast cancer was reported by 36 (9.2%) of the students. The percentage of participants who had low/below average knowledge scores regarding risk factors, warning signs and methods for early detection of breast cancer was 40.6%, 45.9% and 86.5%, respectively. Significantly higher knowledge scores on risk factors were noticed among participants with a family history of breast cancer (P = 0.03). The misconception most frequently identified was that “treatment for breast cancer affects a woman’s femininity” (62.5%). Conclusion: A profound lack of knowledge about breast cancer was noted among female university students in the three UAE universities studied. The most prominent gaps in knowledge identified were those concerning breast cancer screening methods. Keywords: Breast Cancer; Awareness; Students; United Arab Emirates.
Challenges and Strategies for Building and Maintaining Effective Preceptor-Preceptee Relationships among Nurses
(Original Study) Gerald A. Matua, Vidya Seshan, Raman Savithri, Dennis C. Fronda
ABSTRACT:Objectives: This study aimed to determine the challenges encountered and strategies used by nurse preceptors to build effective professional relationships during the preceptorship of final year nursing students. Methods: This study was conducted in November 2012 at the College of Nursing in Sultan Qaboos University, Muscat, Oman. A qualitative research design consisting of focus group discussions was used to investigate the challenges that preceptors encounter and the strategies that they use to build effective relationships with preceptees. A total of 21 preceptors from Sultan Qaboos University Hospital participated in the study as part of a training workshop for nurse preceptors. The interviews were audio recorded, transcribed verbatim and thematically analysed. Results: The main challenges faced by preceptors included discrepancies in applying theory to practice; lack of trust; lack of time, and perceived lack of knowledge. The effective strategies identified by the preceptors to be used in building a healthy preceptor-preceptee relationship were proper orientation; effective communication; preparation for complex situations; appreciation and acknowledgment; positive feedback; assurance of support; spending time together; knowing preceptors personally; giving breaks, and encouraging self-commitment. Conclusion: Preceptors should be encouraged to identify challenges that hinder the building of effective relationships with preceptees early during their preceptorship. The incorporation of appropriate and evidenced-based strategies, such as those identified in this study, can transform the preceptorship experience into one that is fulfilling for both preceptors and preceptees. This may lead to greater job satisfaction, personal and professional growth as well as higher self-esteem levels for preceptors and the realisation of clinical objectives for preceptees. Keywords: Preceptorship; Nursing Students; Mentorship; Socialization; Communication Barriers; Oman.
Knowledge, attitudes, practice and perceived barriers among nurses in Oman(Original Study) Ali A. Ammouri, Ahmad A. Raddaha, Preethy Dsouza, Renu Geethakrishnan, Judith A. Noronha, Arwa A. Obeidat, Lina Shakman
ABSTRACT:Objectives: The aim of this study was to describe nurses’ practices, attitudes, knowledge/skills and perceived barriers in relation to evidence-based practice (EBP) in Oman. Methods: This descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted between February and November 2012. A self-reported 24-item questionnaire was used to measure EBP practices, attitudes and knowledge/skills among a convenience sample of 600 nurses working in four governmental hospitals in Muscat, Oman. Responses were scored on a one to seven rating scale. Barriers to EBP were measured on a five-point Likert scale using two subscales. Descriptive statistics and general linear regression were used to analyse the data. Results: A total of 414 nurses were included in the study. The greatest barriers to developing EBP among nurses were insufficient time for research (3.51 ± 0.97) and insufficient resources to change practices (3.64 ± 0.99). Nurses with more years of experience reported increased use of EBP (P <0.01), more positive attitudes towards EBP (P <0.001) and fewer barriers to research (P <0.01). Significant positive correlations were found between years of experience and practice (r = 0.16) and attitudes (r = 0.20). Nurses with a baccalaureate degree reported fewer barriers to research than those qualified at a diploma level (P <0.001). Nurses who perceived more barriers to research reported less use of EBP (P <0.001), less positive attitudes towards EBP (P <0.001) and limited EBP knowledge/skills (P <0.001). Conclusion: These findings provide a basis for enhancing nursing practices, knowledge and skills. Continuing education for nurses and minimising barriers is crucial to increasing the use of EBP in Oman. Keywords: Evidence-Based Practice; Nurses; Attitudes; Knowledge; Oman.
Pattern of Viral Infections among Infants and Children Admitted to the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit at Sultan Qaboos University Hospital, Oman
(Brief Communication) Anas-Alwogud A. Abdelmogheth, Alddai M. A. Al-Nair, Abdullah A. S. Balkhair, Akram M. Mahmoud, Mohamed El-Naggari
ABSTRACT:Objectives: The aim of this study was to describe the pattern of viral infections in infants and children admitted to the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) at Sultan Qaboos University Hospital (SQUH) in Muscat, Oman. Methods: A retrospective review of patient records was carried out on all patients admitted to the PICU between January 2011 and December 2012. In order to detect viruses, polymerase chain reaction (PCR) technology was used to detect viruses in nasopharyngeal aspirates, tracheal aspirates, plasma, stool and urine samples. All infants and children below 13 years old, who were admitted to the PICU at SQUH during the study period and with confirmed viral infections, were included in the study. Results: A total of 373 infants and children were admitted to the PICU during the study period. Viruses were detected in 34 patients. The most frequently detected viruses were cytomegalovirus (CMV) in 29.4%; this virus was noted predominantly in immuncompromised patients (80%, P = 0.023) and was associated with increased mortality (50%, P = 0.031) and prolonged PICU stay (70%, P = 0.045). Fatalities before discharge were recorded in 23.5% of the patients. The most frequent risk factors for viral infections were an age of <12 months old (47.1%), assisted ventilation/intubation (52.9%) and a prolonged PICU stay (55.9%). Conclusion: The results of this study found that CMV was the most common viral infection among infants and children admitted to the PICU in SQUH. CMV was also the leading cause of mortality. Keywords: Viral Diseases; Viruses; Cytomegalovirus; Respiratory Syncytial Viruses; Infants; Children; Oman.
Is More Nutrition Education Needed in the Undergraduate Medical Curriculum?
Perceptions of graduates from a medical university in the United Arab Emirates(Brief Communication) Kadayam G. Gomathi, Syed I. Shehnaz, Nelofer Khan
ABSTRACT:Objectives: The rise in lifestyle diseases has resulted in primary physicians advising more patients on the benefits of nutritional modifications. However, nutrition education has remained more or less unchanged in the undergraduate medical curriculum. This study aimed to assess the perceptions of medical graduates regarding nutrition education in their undergraduate curriculum. Methods: A total of 125 medical graduates from the Gulf Medical University in Ajman, United Arab Emirates, were invited to participate in an anonymous online survey from May to October 2012. The validated pilot-tested questionnaire was designed to assess perceptions regarding nutrition education in the undergraduate medical curriculum. Results: A total of 65 medical graduates responded to the survey, of which 55% were female. Of the respondents, 32% were general physicians and 68% were specialists in various disciplines. Nutrition education was perceived to be very important by 80% of the respondents; however, 78.5% felt that they had not received adequate instruction in this field during their undergraduate medical curriculum. The major areas of deficit identified were in the categories of clinical nutrition, nutrition in primary care and evidence-based nutrition. Conclusion: In this study, Gulf Medical University graduates perceived a need for more nutrition-related instruction in their undergraduate medical curriculum. The areas of deficit identified in this study could help in future curricular improvements. Keywords: Nutritional Sciences; Undergraduate Medical Education; Curriculum; United Arab Emirates.
Hepatobiliary Complications of Sickle Cell Disease among Children Admitted to Al Wahda Teaching Hospital, Aden, Yemen
(Brief Communication) Hana A. Qhalib and Gamal H. Zain
ABSTRACT:Objectives: This study aimed to describe the pattern of hepatobiliary complications among patients with sickle cell disease (SCD) and to assess their correlation with age, gender and other risk factors. Methods: This cross-sectional study assessed 106 patients with SCD who were admitted to Al Wahda Teaching Hospital in Aden, Yemen, between January and June 2009. A full history, thorough examination, essential laboratory investigations (including a complete blood count, liver function test and viral markers test) and an abdominal ultrasound were performed on all patients. The clinicopathological characteristics of the hepatobiliary complications were analysed for their correlation to different risk factors such as age and gender. Results: It was found that 46.2% of the patients with SCD had hepatobiliary complications. Of these, 36.7% had viral hepatitis, 26.0% had cholecystitis and 20% had gallstones. A total of 60.4% of the affected patients were male. The mean levels of alanine aminotransferase (59.4 and 56.0 U/L) and aspartate transaminase (40.1 and 38.3 U/L) were significantly elevated in patients with viral hepatitis and cholecystitis, respectively. Hepatitis B virus surface antigen showed higher positivity (10.4%) than anti-hepatitis A and anti-hepatitis C antibodies. Hepatobiliary complications increased significantly with age and were notably higher among those who were often admitted to hospital and/or underwent frequent blood transfusions. Conclusion: This study suggests that hepatobiliary complications are common among SCD patients and the likelihood of developing such complications increases as patients age. Thus, regular clinical follow-ups, abdominal ultrasound studies and periodic liver function tests, as well as serological tests for viral hepatitis, are strongly recommended. These can help in the early detection of these complications and allow opportunities for their management and prevention. Keywords: Sickle Cell Disease; Digestive System; Biliary Tract; Children; Yemen.
Primary Cytomegalovirus-Related Eosinophilic Pneumonia in a Three-year-old Child with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia
Case report and literature review(Case Report) Mohammed Al Reesi, Amal Al-Maani, George Paul, Sumaiah Al-Arimi
ABSTRACT: A diagnosis of eosinophilic pneumonia (EP) is rare in patients with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL). We report a case of EP in association with a primary cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection in a three-yearold Omani child with ALL. The patient presented with fever while undergoing maintenance chemotherapy. He was admitted to the Child Health Department of Royal Hospital, in Muscat, Oman, in November 2011. He was initially thought to have sepsis but failed to respond to antibiotics. Chest computed tomography showed diffuse ground glass lung opacification. Bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) cytology was consistent with the diagnosis of EP. Polymerase chain reaction tests for CMV were performed on the BAL and blood samples and were both markedly elevated. The patient made a full recovery after treatment with prednisolone and ganciclovir. The association between CMV infection and EP as well as the management of this combination in immunocompromised patients has never been reported in the English literature.
Primary Extradural Meningioma Presenting as Frontal Sinusitis with Extensive Bony Changes
Case report(Case Report) Rajeev Kariyattil, Venkatesh Govindaraju, Rana S. Hamid, Muthukuttiparambil Unnikrishnan
ABSTRACT: Primary extradural meningiomas are rare tumours and calvarial meningiomas with extensive bony changes and frontal sinusitis are rarer still. We report a 40-year-old female patient who presented to the otorhinolaryngologist at the Sultan Qaboos University Hospital in Muscat, Oman, in October 2013 with headaches and frontal swelling. She was diagnosed with frontal sinusitis complicated by osteomyelitis. Further clinical examination and imaging revealed a left frontal calvarial meningioma with extensive bony changes and extracalvarial extension into the frontal sinus. She underwent a left frontal craniotomy during which the tumour was removed. The postoperative period was uneventful and a follow-up computed tomography scan after three months showed only postoperative changes. This report discusses the radiological differential diagnosis and management of this type of lesion.
Keywords: Meningioma; Calvarial Hyperostosis; Neoplasm Invasiveness; Case Report; Oman.
Radioactive Iodine-131 Therapy in the Management of Ectopic Thyroid Tissue
(Case Report) Omayma T. El-Shafie, Samir Hussain, Dilip Sankhla, Nicholas Woodhouse
ABSTRACT: The occurrence of ectopic lingual thyroid tissue was first reported over 100 years ago. We report an unusual presentation of ectopic thyroid tissue occurring in the submental area. A 27-year-old female presented to the Sultan Qaboos University Hospital in Muscat, Oman, in October 2011 with an 8 x 6 cm mass which caused difficulty in talking and a feeling of heaviness in the jaw. She was clinically and biochemically euthyroid upon presentation. The clinical diagnosis was confirmed by a technetium-99m thyroid scan, magnetic resonance imaging and fine needle aspiration. A single dose of 976 megabecquerels of radioactive iodine-131 resulted in hypothyroidism after three months and the complete disappearance of the swelling and associated symptoms. At a two-year follow-up, the patient was healthy and continuing lifelong replacement therapy with thyroxine.
Keywords: Thyroid, abnormalities; Ectopic Thyroid; Iodine Radioisotopes, therapeutic use; Fine Needle Aspiration; Thyroglossal Cyst; Case Report; Oman.
Syringocystadenoma Papilliferum of the Upper Lip
(Case Report) Hamdan A. Al-Habsi, Mustafa Al-Hinai, Ahmed Al-Waily, Salim Al-Sudairy, Vipula de Silva
ABSTRACT: Syringocystadenoma papilliferum (SCAP) is a rare skin tumour believed to arise from the apocrine or eccrine sweat glands. It appears predominantly in childhood, usually at birth. It is exceedingly rare for it to appear on the upper lip. We report a case of SCAP in a 10-year-old Omani girl who presented to the Sultan Qaboos University Hospital in Muscat, Oman, in February 2012 with a non-tender, non-pruritic, solitary verrucous papule of 4 x 5 mm on the left side of the upper lip. It had been present since birth and had slowly been increasing in size over the years. It was occasionally associated with recurrent ulceration and bleeding and had previously been misdiagnosed and mismanaged. An excisional biopsy was performed and the whole lesion was removed. The surgical site was then sutured and the patient was discharged on the same day.
A Case of an Undifferentiated Embryonal Sarcoma of the Liver Mimicking a Liver Abscess
(Case Report) Mohammad Hanafiah, Azyani Yahya, Zamri Zuhdi, Yazmin Yaacob
ABSTRACT: An undifferentiated embryonal sarcoma of the liver is a rare malignant tumour. We highlight the diagnostic dilemma and differential diagnosis of a case involving a large cystic liver lesion in a young adult. A 20-year-old man presented with a large liver lesion to the Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia Medical Center, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in February 2012. The initial clinico-radiological presentations were suggestive of a liver abscess. A total tumour resection was performed and the final histopathological results of the resected specimen indicated an undifferentiated embryonal sarcoma of the liver. The ultrasound and computed tomographic images of the tumour were reviewed and found to be contradictory in appearance, as the tumour seemed predominantly solid in the ultrasound image and predominantly cystic in the computed tomographic image. Familiarisation with the imaging appearance of this tumour and a high index of suspicion is therefore crucial in making a successful diagnosis.
Keywords: Sarcoma; Liver Abscess; Ultrasound Imaging; X-Ray Computed Tomography; Case Report; Malaysia.
A Possible Case of Systemic Lupus Erythematosus Presenting with Generalised Oedema
(Case Report) Kawther T. El-Shafie, Ali Al-Shirawi, Buthaina Al-Maskari, Nafisa Samir
ABSTRACT: Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is an autoimmune disease of unknown aetiology affecting various systems within the body. We report the case of a patient with generalised subcutaneous oedema as the only presenting feature, which led to the possible diagnosis of SLE without a specific cause. The patient presented to the Sultan Qaboos University Hospital in Muscat, Oman, in April 2013. The oedema had been present for two years before admission. Other potential causes of oedema in patients with SLE were excluded, including SLE of renal origin and SLE due to protein-losing enteropathy or drugs. This was confirmed by the patient’s normal serum albumin level and negative proteinuria. Laboratory investigations showed high levels of positive antinuclear antibodies (>1:640), positive anti-double-stranded deoxyribonucleic acid results, high levels of anti-β2-glycoprotein 1 and immunoglobulin M and low levels of both complement components 3 and 4. The oedema improved immediately in response to steroids and immunosuppressive medications. Physicians should be aware that generalised subcutaneous oedema can be the only manifestation of SLE.
Keywords: Edema; Systemic Lupus Erythematosus; Case Report; Oman.