Posted on June 06, 2017

Four Public Health (MPH) Masters students from Qatar University College of Health Sciences (QU-CHS) recently presented their graduation theses in the presence of CHS Dean and QU Biomedical Research Center (BRC) Director Dr Asma Al-Thani, and their supervisors and colleagues. 

Rouda Jassim Zayed presented her research project titled “Prevalence and determinants of body dissatisfaction among Arab women at postpartum in Qatar” and under the supervision of CHS Assistant Professor Dr Mohammed Fasihul Alam. The study showed that a significantly high number of Arab women going through postpartum stage were experiencing body dissatisfaction. A total of 62% of women included in the survey were having body dissatisfaction. This dissatisfaction level was predominant among women who were categorized under overweight and obese BMI group. The study also showed that dissatisfaction due to weight, shape of the body and overall general appearance contributed to body dissatisfaction among these women.

Sahar Dahawi Al-Shamari, working under the supervision of CHS Assistant Professor Dr Fahad Hanna, presented her research project on “The effect of protein supplementation on body muscle mass and fat mass and essential health indicators in Qatari post bariatric surgery: A Randomized Controlled Trial (RCT)”. The study highlighted that protein supplementation in post-bariatric surgery patients, who find extremely unpleasant to digest normal foods, is an effective intervention to improve weight loss. It also showed that after one month of follow-up, patients who took the treatment displayed higher level of serum albumin than those who took dietary advice alone. Additionally, the study showed trends towards significance in results of muscle and fat percentage change between the two groups.

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Joanne Nabih Daghfal presented her project titled “Prevalence of Healthcare Associated Infections in Adult Recipients of Autologous Hematopoietic Stem-Cell Transplantation (AHSCT) in Qatar”, under the supervision of CHS Associate Professor Dr Manar Elhassan. The study provided original baseline data about the incidence of Hospital Acquired Infection (HAI) among Adult Recipients of Autologous Hematopoietic Stem-Cell Transplantation (AHSCT) in National Center for Cancer Care and Research (NCCCR). The study showed that out of the sixteen patients, three developed infection leaving the overall infection rate to 18.75%. 92.3% of the infections occurred during neutropenia and 69.2% of them during febrile neutropenia. These findings may be used for additional evaluation of the influence of infection prevention and control measures and therapeutic plans for these patients. They will also contribute to the enhancement of the quality of care in NCCCR, mainly in the hematopoietic stem cell transplant (HSCT) unit through the proper implementation of the infection control standards and proper implementation of antimicrobial stewardship program.

Last but not least, Reham Hassan Negm Eldin presented her research project on “Carotid Intima Media Thickness and Cardiovascular Risk Assessment: Analysis of Qatar Biobank Data”, under the supervision of CHS Associate Professor Dr Lukman Thalib. The study found significant association between Carotid Intima Media Thickness )CIMT) and various cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors such as age, gender, hypertension, diabetes, hypercholesterolemia, body mass index, and lipids profile. These findings are consistent with the existing literature on CIMT and provide an indirect validation of our data. The results provide a good comparative effort with current and future studies in the Middle East. Additionally, the study can be used to develop a simple, noninvasive yet sensitive risk prediction tool to identify the population at risk of CVD, which is a powerful public health strategy that can be more generalized to health care service.

Dr Asma Al-Thani said: “On the MPH Thesis Oral Defense Day, the students grasp essential academic and interpersonal milestones. Coupling their collective research findings with the academic accomplishments and proficient interpersonal skills came to be a sign of readiness for the real life experience pursuing a career in health care. We are proud of our first batch of public health researchers as their findings are found to be  significant and beneficial for the health care sector in Qatar.”