5184.0: Wednesday, November 15, 2000 - 2:45 PM

Abstract #5954

Mothers' knowledge and practices regarding respiratory infections: An international experience

E B Guevara, DrPH1, E Mendias, PhD, RN1, S Arias, MD2, J C Bossio, MD2, and Y Benguigui, MD2. (1) The University of Texas Medical Branch, 301 University Blvd, Galveston, TX 775755-1029, (409) 772-8305, eguevara@utmb.edu, (2) IMCI, Pan American Health Organization, 525 23rd Street, N.W, Washington, DC 20037

Mothers are frequently the principal providers for child health care and are the link between the child and health service. Understanding parental knowledge and practices regarding child health allows the identification of knowledge and skills needed by parents to improve child health outcomes. This is particularly important in the case of Acute Respiratory Infections (ARI), since children under five years of age usually suffer between 4 to 6 episodes of these diseases each year. Mothers must know how to recognize danger signs, because some episodes of these diseases can be severe and life threatening without prompt and adequate treatment. To address this problem, a population-based survey using the Integrated Management of Childhood Illnesses (IMCI) approach, was developed in a marginal community in Mexico. Objective: This paper will discuss the study results related to the question: What do mothers/caretakers know about and how do they recognize, prevent, and treat respiratory infections at home? Methods: A stratified random sample of 239 mother/caretakers of children under five was interviewed at home using a standardized questionnaire. Results: Common respiratory infections reported by the mothers included: chest congestion (41%), rapid breathing (30%), and cough/cough with blood (15.5%). Only 59% of the mothers take the child to the clinic while the remaining (41%) use medications (self-prescribed and over the counter) and practice folk medicine. These results highlight the need to study the relationship between cultural/folk practices used by this community and child health outcomes, in order to identify helpful and non-helpful folk practices.

Learning Objectives: At the end of the presentation, participants wil be able to identify knowledge and practices used by mothers of children under five to recognize, treat and prevent respiratory infections at home, in a marginal community of Mexico

Keywords: Child Health, Developing Countries

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Organization/institution whose products or services will be discussed: None
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

The 128th Annual Meeting of APHA