• Welcome to the online home of the Oman Medical Journal offering free access and publishing to all authors and researchers 

    Welcome from the Editor-in-Chief

    Prof. Ibrahim Al-Zakwani BSc, MSc, MS, PhD

    Welcome to the home of the Oman Medical Journal. The OMJ was established in 1984 and has been published under the Oman Medical Specialty Board since 2007. Initially, we started with one issue a year, which later increased to four and then to six in 2011. We currently publish over 100 articles a year covering all aspects of medicine and healthcare. These are selected by our committed and multi-disciplinary Editorial Board.

    We take a no barriers approach to publishing and are proud to offer the journal free to all those who wish to read it and charge no publication fees to authors/researchers. We publish a wide range of articles, including original research, case reports, and preliminary studies. We also publish editorials and letters intended to inform and spark debate about key medical issues. We do this to complement OMSB’s mission to provide quality healthcare through quality medical education. As part of this commitment, we are listed and indexed in over 35 databases, and this number continues to grow.

    We have added some exciting new features to this website. We now offer our authors the opportunity to publish their articles as soon as they are accepted with our preprint facility.  

    On behalf of the entire OMJ team, thank you for visiting the online home of the OMJ. We hope you will find this site to be a helpful resource. Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions, concerns, or comments you have.

    Ibrahim Al-Zakwani

    Articles and Issues


    Most Viewed Articles

    The most viewed articles from the OMJ.
    Volume 36, Issue 1 January 2021
    The Post-acute COVID-19 Syndrome (Long COVID)

    Issa Al-Jahdhami, Khalid Al-Naamani, Adhra Al-Mawali

    Article history:

    Volume 36, Issue 1 January 2021
    Neutrophil-to-Lymphocyte Ratio as an Alternative Marker of Neonatal Sepsis in Developing Countries

    Khadijah Rizky Sumitro, Martono Tri Utomo, Agung Dwi Wahyu Widodo

    Objectives: We sought to analyze the neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio (NLR) as an alternative marker of neonatal sepsis. Methods: In this cross-sectional study, we undertook consecutive sampling in all inborn neonates admitted to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit with clinical manifestations of neonatal sepsis. Neonates with congenital anomalies and referred neonates were excluded. Complete blood count, C-reactive protein (CRP), and blood culture were carried out as the septic workup examinations based on the local Clinical Practical Guidelines. NLR is obtained by dividing the absolute count of neutrophils from lymphocytes manually. A cut-off value of NLR is obtained using a receiver operating characteristic curve. Results: The median NLR value of the 104 neonates who met the inclusion and exclusion criteria was 3.63 (2.39–6.12). Neonates with NLR of 2.12 have the area under the curve of 0.630 (95% confidence interval (CI): 0.528–0.741) and 0.725 (95% CI: 0.636–0.814) when combined with CRP = 2.70 mg/dL. Neonates with NLR ≥ 2.12 in clinical neotnatal sepsis had almost double the risk of providing positive blood culture results (relative risk = 1.867, 95% CI: 1.077–3.235; p = 0.011). Conclusions: NLR, calculated from complete blood count, can be used as an alternative marker of easy and relatively inexpensive neonatal sepsis, especially in developing countries, and detection of proven neonatal sepsis to be better when combined with CRP.

    Article history:

    Volume 36, Issue 1 January 2021
    Prevalence of Gestational Diabetes Mellitus Using the Latest World Health Organization Diagnostic Criteria among Omani Women in Muscat, Oman

    Saada K. Al Subhi, Rahma M. Al Kindi, Abdul Hakim Al Rawahi, Iman S. Al Seyabi, Ameena Al Mukhaini

    Objectives: In 2013, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommended new criteria for diagnosing gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM). Our study aimed to compare the incidence of GDM and its complications among Omani pregnant women using the new diagnostic criteria compared to previous criteria published in 1999. Methods: This retrospective cohort study was conducted between January and December 2016 at the Bawshar Specialized Polyclinic in Muscat, Oman. A total of 613 Omani women were included in the study. Baseline maternal characteristics such as age, body mass index, parity, and socioeconomic status were recorded in addition to maternal and neonatal outcomes. Results: Based on the current diagnostic criteria, the incidence of GDM was 48.5% (n = 297); however, this dropped to 26.4% (n = 162) when applying the old criteria. Moreover, rates of maternal complications including polyhydramnios (5.6% vs. 4.6%), pregnancy-induced hypertension (3.2% vs. 1.5%), and preterm delivery (3.2% vs. 1.5%) were slightly higher among women with GDM diagnosed using the latest criteria. However, these differences were not statistically significant. Neonatal complications were also slightly more frequent among the first group, without any significant differences. Conclusions: The incidence of GDM among Omani women rose dramatically when utilizing the latest WHO diagnostic criteria, owing to a lower fasting blood glucose cut-off value. In addition, a comparison of the frequencies of maternal and neonatal complications supports the validity of the new criteria. These findings should be taken into consideration by decision-makers in Oman when planning antenatal and postnatal services.

    Article history:

    Volume 36, Issue 2 March 2021
    Implications of the Emerging SARS-CoV-2 Variant: Caution is the Key

    Salah T. Al Awaidy, Rana Jawad Asghar, Saad Omais, Muhammad Salman, Hassan Zaraket

    Article history:

    Volume 36, Issue 1 January 2021
    Responses to the Pandemic COVID-19 in Primary Health Care in Oman: Muscat Experience

    Thamra Al Ghafri, Fatma Al Ajmi, Lamya Al Balushi, Padma Mohan Kurup, Aysha Al Ghamari, Zainab Al Balushi, Fatma Al Fahdi, Huda Al Lawati, Salwa Al Hashmi, Asim Al Manji, Abdallah Al Sharji

    Objectives: As coronavirus disease (COVID-19) was pervading different parts of the world, little has been published regarding responses undertaken within primary health care (PHC) facilities in Arabian Gulf countries. This paper describes such responses from January to mid-April 2020 in PHC, including public health measures in Muscat, Oman. Methods: This is a descriptive study showing the trends of the confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 and the undertaken responses to the evolving epidemiological scenario. These responses were described utilizing the World Health Organizations’ building blocks for health care systems: Leadership and governance, Health workforce, Service delivery, Medical products and technologies, and health information management. Results: In mid-April 2020, cases of COVID-19 increased to 685 (particularly among non-nationals). As the cases were surging, the PHC responded by executing all guidelines and policies from the national medical and public health response committees and integrating innovative approaches. These included adapting comprehensive and multi-sectoral strategies, partnering with private establishments, and strengthening technology use (in tracking, testing, managing the cases, and data management). Conclusions: Facilities in the Muscat governorate, with the support from national teams, seemed to continuously scale-up their preparedness and responses to meet the epidemiological expectations in the management of COVID-19.

    Article history:

    Volume 36, Issue 1 January 2021
    Self-management Education Program: The Case of Glycemic Control of Type 2 Diabetes

    Emmanuel Kumah, Aaron Asibi Abuosi, Samuel Egyakwa Ankomah, Cynthia Anaba

    Objectives: Self-management education (SME) is recognized globally as a tool that enables patients to achieve optimal glucose control. While factors influencing the effectiveness of self-management interventions have been studied extensively, the impact of program length on clinical endpoints of patients diagnosed with diabetes is underdeveloped. This paper synthesized information from the existing literature to understand the effect of program length on glycated hemoglobin (HbA1C) in adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Methods: We searched Web of Science, PubMed, Scopus, MEDLINE, EMBASE, PsychINFO, and the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials to identify relevant English language publications on diabetes self-management education published between January 2000 and April 2019. Results: The review included 25 randomized controlled trials, with 64.0% reporting significant changes in HbA1C. The studies classified as long-term (lasting one year and above) were associated with the greatest number of interventions achieving statistically significant (87.5% significant vs. 12.5% non-significant) differences in changes in HbA1C between the intervention and the control subjects, recording an overall between-group HbA1C mean difference of 0.6±0.3% (range = 0.2–1.2). Conclusions: Our findings suggest that program length may change the effectiveness of educational interventions. Achieving sustained improvements in patients’ HbA1C levels will require long-term, ongoing SME, and support.

    Article history:

    Volume 36, Issue 1 January 2021
    The Prevalence of Substance Misuse and its Effects among Omani College Students: A Cross-sectional Study 

    Hazaa Al-Hinaai, Issa Al-Busaidi, Badriya Al Farsi, Yaqoub Al Saidi

    Objectives: Many studies have confirmed that the use of alcohol, tobacco, and cannabis is prevalent among university students. This study aimed to assess the prevalence of substance misuse among college students in Oman, identifying the most commonly used substances, and reviewing the effect of substance misuse on the students’ performance. Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted in a higher learning institution in an urban setting in Oman from April 2018 to December 2018. A descriptive, self-administered online questionnaire, the Alcohol, Smoking, and Substance Involvement Screening Test, version 3.0 (Arabic version), adapted from the World Health Organization was sent to 12 000 students at the college. The sample size was calculated using online software (Raosoft), with a margin of error of 5% and a confidence level of 95%. Results: A total of 375 students responded (response rate = 3.1%). The overall lifetime prevalence for any substance misuse (including tobacco and alcohol) among the participants was 41.3%, with the overall prevalence without tobacco or alcohol at 29.9%. Tobacco was the most common substance used, with a prevalence of around 23.5%, followed by alcohol at 10.7%. Male students had a significantly higher rate of substance abuse, for any substance, compared to female students (p < 0.001). There was a significant correlation between tobacco use, alcohol misuse, and misuse of other substances. Most of the adverse effects attributed to substance misuse reported by the respondents in this study were social (27.7%) and health-related (25.8%) problems. The impact of substance abuse on their performance was also high (23.8%). Furthermore, 15.4% of the respondents had financial problems, and 4.7%% were struggling with legal issues. Notably, only 49.1% of the respondents perceived that substance misuse was a serious problem. Conclusions: Although college students are expected to be more aware of the negative impacts of substance misuse, this study found a high prevalence of smoking, alcohol, and other substance misuses among the group of Omani college students. Further research in this field is essential, and the results of this study have shed light on a critical problem among Omani college students. It is hoped that the findings of this study will be used and built on in future research to recognize students at risk of substance misuse from early school life, leading to early intervention, and potentially preventing the possible negative consequences.

    Article history:

    Volume 36, Issue 2 March 2021
    Risk of COVID-19 Infection in Healthcare Workers Exposed During Use of Non-invasive Ventilation in a Tertiary Care Hospital in Oman

    Adil Al Lawati, Faryal Khamis, Samiha Al Habsi, Khazina Al Dalhami

    Objectives: Healthcare workers (HCWs), especially those working on the front line, are considered to be at high risk of nosocomial acquisition of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the virus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Little is known about the effectiveness of the recommended protective methods as few reports have described spread of the disease in hospital settings among this high-risk population. We describe the hospital-based transmission of SARS-CoV-2 related to non-invasive ventilation (NIV) in one of the main tertiary care hospitals in Oman. Methods: All exposed patients and HCWs from Royal Hospital were screened, quarantined, and underwent telephone interviews to stratify their risk factors, clinical symptoms, and exposure risk assessment. Results: A total of 46 HCWs and patients tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 after exposure to an index case who received 48 hours of NIV before diagnosing COVID-19 infection. Over half of the exposed (56.5%; n = 26) were nurses, 26.1% (n = 12) were patients, and 15.2% (n = 7) were doctors. None of the HCWs required hospitalization. Sore throat, fever, and myalgia were the most common symptoms. Conclusions: NIV poses a significant risk for SARS-CoV-2 transmission within hospital settings if appropriate infection control measures are not taken.

    Article history:

    Volume 36, Issue 1 January 2021
    Kidney Dysfunction among COVID-19 Patients in the United Arab Emirates

    Ibrahim Y. Hachim, Mahmood Y. Hachim, Kashif Bin Naeem, Haifa Hannawi, Issa Al Salmi, Ibrahim Al-Zakwani, Suad Hannawi

    Objectives: We sought to determine the estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) among patients with COVID-19 and to examine its correlation with different demographic, clinical, and laboratory characteristics. Methods: This study examined patients diagnosed with COVID-19 and enrolled at Al Kuwait Hospital, Dubai, UAE. eGFR was calculated using the Modification of Diet in Renal Disease equation, 186 × (SCr mg/dL)-1.154 × (age)-0203 × 0.742 [if female] × 1.212 [if black], and compared for 250 COVID-19 cases and 153 non-COVID-19 controls. Analysis were performed using univariate statistics. Results: The overall mean age of the cohort was 47.2±14.0 years, and 54.6% (n = 220) were males. The results showed that 45.3% of COVID-19 patients had mild-severe renal impairment, as reflected in the eGFR. When compared to patients with normal eGFR, those with severe renal impairment were older (62.5 vs. 40.2 years; < 0.001), more likely to be male (100% vs. 71.1%; p = 0.016), and have comorbidities (90.9% vs. 40.0%; < 0.001) including diabetes mellitus (72.7% vs. 21.5%; < 0.001) and hypertension (72.7% vs. 25.2%; p = 0.003). They were also more likely to be associated with those that had severe (36.4% vs. 25.9%; < 0.001) and critical (63.6% vs. 16.3%; < 0.001) COVID-19 infection as well as intensive care unit admission (72.7% vs. 16.3%; < 0.001). Correlational analysis showed a significant association between renal function indicators and different laboratory markers, including hematological indices and different liver enzymes. Conclusions: This is the first study to examine the renal function among COVID-19 cases in the Middle East. Nearly half of COVID-19 patients had moderate to severe renal impairment. Diabetes mellitus and hypertension were the most common underlying comorbidities associated with moderate-severe renal function impairment among COVID-19 patients.

    Article history:

    For Authors

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    The Journal has specific instructions and guidelines for submitting articles. Please read and review them carefully. Articles that are not submitted in accordance with our instructions and guidelines are more likely to be rejected.

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