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Knowledge and practices of mothers about infants' diarrheal episodes

Knowledge and practices of mothers about infants' diarrheal episodes

Saudi Medical Journal 21(12): 1147-1151

To study the socioeconomic correlates of infants' diarrhea as well as infants' mothers' knowledge and practice concerning diarrheal diseases. Study subjects included 300 infants (150 from Sulaimania Pediatrics Hospital and 150 from the Maternal and Childrens Hospital) with diarrheal episodes during the study period selected by systematic random sampling. Data was collected via a structured open ended pilot tested modified questionnaire filled in by trained Arabic speaking research assistants who interviewed mothers about the diarrheal aspects of their infants, assessed their knowledge and practices concerning diarrheal diseases in children as well as collecting the necessary sociodemographic characteristics of the mothers, fathers and infants themselves. The majority of parents of infants with diarrhea were illiterate or can just read and write, mothers were mostly young aged 20 - 29 years, family income for about 40% of the subjects was less than 5000 Saudi Riyals per month. Diarrheal episodes were mostly in infants 6 months or less in age, mostly the first child in order with males more affected than females. Mothers' knowledge about many aspects of diarrhea was grossly deficient but tends to increase with increasing age, educational level, and birth order. Mothers' practices were better but still deficient and sources of information about diarrhea was mostly from non health professionals. Intervention strategies to control infants diarrheal episodes needs to be through an integrated approach aiming at boosting mothers' knowledge and improving their practice concerning diarrhea and improving the families socioeconomic status and encouraging all health professionals to act as a readily available source for health information about diarrhea and other important health problems.

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Accession: 046508199

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PMID: 11360088

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