Report: 3rd Asia-Pacific Primary Care Research conference

The Malaysian Primary Care Research Group (MPCRG), under the auspices of the Academy of Family Physicians of Malaysia (AFPM), has successfully organised the third Asia-Pacific primary care research conference (APPCR) conference.

The conference was held on December 3–4, 2011, at the Summit Hotel, Subang Jaya, Malaysia. This conference was made possible with the support from the Family Medicine Specialists Association of Malaysia, the Ministry of Health of Malaysia, the College of Family Physicians Singapore and Wonca Asia Pacific region.

A total of 169 delegates attended the conference, both from Malaysia (n=133) and across the world (n=36) including Australia, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia and Singapore, United Kingdom and Yemen.

There were three plenary lectures and three concurrent workshops running throughout the conference. The Deputy Director-General of Health, Research and Technical Support, Ministry of Health of Malaysia, Dato’ Dr Maimunah Abdul Hamid, gave the first plenary lecture on Using evidence for health care reform. She highlighted the importance of primary care research in support the upcoming ‘1Care’ health reform in Malaysia. Dr Moyez Jiwa, Curtin University, Perth, Australia delivered the next two plenary lectures on Doing research in the real world and Medical informatics: application in research. He enlightened the audience with how health innovation can be used to make general practice more effective, efficient and patient-centred.

There were three parallel workshops: Health system research, Basic biostatistics with SPSS and Qualitative research. There was an overwhelming participation from the delegates and their enthusiasm has definitely motivated the organisers to organise similar workshops in the future.

Presentations and posters

A total of 51 abstracts were submitted to the conference; five were selected to compete at the oral free paper sessions while the rest competed in the best poster category. This year, both the quality and quantity of the abstracts have surpassed the past two conferences.

The best oral presentations were:

Rajakumar Award: Dr Suraya Abdul Razak whose topic was Perceptions of unmarried teenage mothers in a Malaysian setting towards antenatal care: a qualitative study
1st runner up: Dr Azainorsuzila Mohd Ahad whose topic was Associated factors and predictors of asthma control in primary school children2nd runner up: Dr Loh Siew Yim whose topic was Efficacy of a 4-week self management program for breast cancer as a chronic illness
Consolation prize: Dr Noorlaili Tohit whose topic was Healthy ageing perspectives of older Malays in Selangor, Malaysia - a qualitative study
Consolation prize: Dr Nazrila Hairin Nasir whose topic was Evaluating the effectiveness of a fluid chart to improve oral fluid intake in suspected dengue patients: a feasibility study

The best poster presentations were:

The Wong Heck Sing award: Dr Iliza Idris whose poster was entitled Screening for microalbuminuria among patients with hypertension without concomitant diabetes, as a marker of cardiovascular risk
1st runner up: Mr Lee Yew Kong whose poster was entitled Insulin myths: Healthcare professionals' views of patients' perception towards insulin therapy
2nd runner-up: Mr Chan Chun Wai whose poster was entitled The association between medication adherence and hypertension control in primary care clinics

Research championship

A research championship workshop was held as a pre-conference on December 2, 2011, at the Rumah Universiti, University of Malaya. There were four groups and a total of 30 participants. The groups were facilitated by two facilitators each. The research championship was first introduced at the second Asia Pacific primary care research conference, held in 2010, in Singapore. The aim was to provide a platform for novice primary care researchers to work as a team and learn research through personal coaching by experienced researchers.

Twelve research proposal abstracts were submitted to the scientific committee and they were reviewed independently by three reviewers. Thefour best abstracts were chosen for coaching at the Pre- Conference, and to compete at the research championship on December 4. The coaches were experienced primary care researchers, from Malaysia and Singapore.

The four teams that competed at the research championship were:

  1. PREPARE: Prescription error amongst paediatric patients review
    Josephine H Basil, Ng Sok Nee, Anis Adilah Jamaludin, Azzakirah Ishkandar, Chai Li Yen, Erik Tan Xi Ni, Goh Li Li, Priyal Gunasegaran, Pua Chiew Yean and Soo Gian Wan: from Pejabat Kesihatan Daerah Petaling, Selangor. (Winner)
  2. ADAPE (Atopic Dermatitis Action Plan Effectiveness Study): A pilot intervention study
    Ho Zhuan Yi, Chuang Di Fang and Tham Shu Qi: from the Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine
  3. Factors Affecting Primary Care Physicians in providing their handphone number to patients by medical doctors
    Dr Mohd Khairi Mohd Noor, Dr Siti Nurkamilla Ramdzan and Dr Maliza Mawardi: from the University Malaya Medical Centre
  4. Case control study on the biomechanical risk factors for trigger finger in Asian patients
    Poh You Kai, Justin Boey Jia Jun and Po Jing Yuh: from the Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine

Malaysian primary care research awards

During the 3rd Asia Pacific primary care research conference dinner, the MPCRG awarded the inaugural Honorary MPCRG Research Award to Prof Teng Cheong Lieng, for his outstanding contribution towards primary care research in Malaysia.

The MPCRG logo, slogan and website were also launched at the conference dinner. The logo competition was won by Dr Mimi Omar.

The MPCRG slogan selected by the committee members was ‘Improving primary care through research’. The MPCRG website can be accessed at http://www.


The conference is a social experiment to bring clinicians and researchers into the world of primary care research via experimenting & coaching, learning in the track courses, competition in a safe and supportive environment.

The 4th Asia-Pacific primary care research conference will be held in Singapore, in 2012. Details will be announced later in the Wonca website, and in Wonca News.

Dr Mimi Omar
Prof Chirk Jenn Ng
Prof Lee Gan Goh