CLUSTer Study: School Engagement Experience

The CLUSTer study, which began in 2013, is a cohort study that aims to examine the clustering of lifestyle risk factors and work-related stress among teachers in Malaysia, as well as follow up on important health outcomes. The follow-up of this cohort study has resumed since July 2022 and is ongoing in selected schools across Selangor, Kuala Lumpur, Johor, Penang, Terengganu, and Malacca.

We are delighted to engage some selected schools in a health campaign and health screening. On March 15th and 16th, 2023, our team (Dr Yoong Lee Yeen, Mr Ng Yit Han, Dr Yap Jun Fai and Dr Patrick Peng Wee Yao) engaged with the selected schools,  Sekolah Jenis Kebangsaan (Cina) Subang and Sekolah Jenis Kebangsaan (Tamil) Vivekananda in Petaling Jaya, to raise awareness of teachers’ health and wellbeing, conduct blood pressure screening, and administer the CLUSTer RedCAP online questionnaire screening.

The teachers were actively involved in our health talks, health quizzes, X-break sessions, blood pressure measurements, as well as health screening using CLUSTer RedCAP online questionnaire. The teachers’ knowledge of non-communicable diseases increased from an average score of 55% in the pre-test to 82% in the post-test after the health talks. We also identified some cases of high blood pressure and provided consultation to the teachers. Through the school engagement programs, we were able to better understand the teachers’ working lives and the barriers to healthy living, enabling us to help them incorporate what they learned into their routines.

We would like to express our heartfelt gratitude to the schools and teachers who participated in our studies and actively engaged with us. For those schools which were not selected for school engagement, we would urge you to screen your latest health status through our online questionnaire. Get to know more about our CLUSTer study update through our official website and visit our Facebook page.

The school engagement experiences created a bridge for interaction between our team and the teachers, providing meaningful insights for both parties. We hope that this school engagement experience can lead to more significant, practical, and relevant health policies that can improve the teachers’ health and well-being through our CLUSTer cohort study!

This report was prepared by Dr Yoong Lee Yeen and Professor Dr Moy Foong Ming from the Department of Social and Preventive Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Universiti Malaya.

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