Mother’s Knowledge, Attitude and Practice of Children under 5 years old with Diarrhea and Dehydration in the West Bank

Ameera Hatem Rasheed Ma'rouf
اميرة حاتم رشيد معروف
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Al-Quds University
Diarrheal disease is the second most common cause of death in children under the age of five years. Children are the most sensitive group to environmental and social variables. Fortunately, the mother can prevent her children from diarrheal disease, as well as treat it and reduce its complications. The mother is the first caregiver of the child. A mother's knowledge of diarrheal disease, her behavior and beliefs affects her ability to control the disease and avoid complications. Given the lack of studies related to this disease in Palestine in general, and the lack of studies dealing with the role of the mother and her behavior in dealing with diarrheal disease in particular, this study aimed to assess and determine the knowledge, practice and attitude of mothers towards their children under the age of five years with diarrhea and dehydration. In addition, assess mothers' awareness of how to deal with their children who are under five years of age and affected by diarrhea episode and had be transferred to government hospitals in the West Bank, particularly Hebron, Ramallah and Nablus. The research period lasted from 10 November 2017 to 10 March 2018. The study population consisted of mothers of children under five years of age who were in the Department of Pediatrics and Pediatric Emergency in Ramallah Governmental Hospital, Alia Hospital, and Rafedia Governmental Hospital during the period of completion of this research..Which questionnaires were distributed to them after an official letter of this letter was sent by Al-Quds University and approval was obtained from the Palestinian Ministry of Health. However, the questionnaire consisted of four paragraphs distributed over four main sections: (demographic information, knowledge of mothers about diarrheal disease, beliefs about the disease, and practices carried out by Mothers when their children have diarrheal). The questionnaire was distributed to 471 mothers through the use of a purposive sampling method. The researcher found that the number of questionnaires valid for statistical analysis is 467 questionnaires representing 99% distributed to the mentioned cities. Statistical processing was carried out using SPSS statistical package (version 20). The researcher used the descriptive method. The study showed unexpected results, as the majority of mothers have insufficient knowledge about diarrhea in terms of its causes, definition, significance and mechanism for dealing with, and the vast majority has incorrect usage of the dehydration solution in terms of quantity and method of administration, while they have good knowledge and behavior towards breast feeding. Also, the results of the study indicated some differences between the cities that the research was applied to. One of the most important differences was the knowledge among mothers to define diarrhea and its severity, which was less in Nablus, compared to Ramallah and Hebron. While their knowledge of the serious signs that require them to bring the child to the hospital was better in Nablus than in Ramallah and Hebron. The correct preparation of the solution at home and incorrect knowledge is higher in Hebron compared to Ramallah and Nablus, while the correct knowledge for preparing the manufacture solution and the mechanism for preventing diarrhea in Hebron was better than Nablus and Ramallah. The study confirmed the presence of statistically significant differences between mothers' positive and negative beliefs with many demographic variables and different levels of knowledge among mothers and the mother's self-motivation. There is also significant statistical relationship and differences between self-motivation and correct practices in positive way. The results also confirmed existence of a relationship between mothers' knowledge and many demographic variables that clearly affect this knowledge, which in turn affects the behavior and beliefs of the mother. Upon these results, the study concluded many recommendations, primarily finding and preparing awareness programs for mothers about diarrhea and oral rehydration solution by healthcare providers and focus on the quality of the services provided.