Knowledge and practices of mothers about infants' diarrheal
Department of Nursing, College of Applied Sciences,
King Saud University, PO Box 10219, Riyadh 11433, Kingdom of Saudi
OBJECTIVES: To study the socioeconomic correlates of
infants' diarrhea as well as infants' mothers' knowledge and practice
concerning diarrheal diseases. METHODS: 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. RESULTS: 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.
CONCLUSION: 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.
PMID: 11360088 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]