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Perceptions of a literate community regarding causation, presentation and treatment practices of intestinal worms among children.

PMID: 17903398 (view PubMed database entry)
DOI: 09.2007/jcpsp.527530 (read at publisher's website )

Syed Muhammed Mubeen, Abbas Subhani, Syed Shabi-Ul- Hassan, Furkhunda Barni,

To find out the perceived common causes of intestinal worms, their presentations and treatment options taken by the respondents, among children.A cross-sectional study Place and Duration of Study: Urban suburbs of Karachi during April and June 2004.A total of 2000 families responded to a self-administered questionnaire that was designed to obtain the study objectives. A single adult individual from each family was asked to respond to the questionnaire. Families having health care workers or health professionals were excluded. Medical students were properly trained to ensure competence in collecting a reliable data.The majority of the total respondents were females (66.3%) and were between 15-25 years of age (mean age = 25.4 years) with 100% literacy rate. A noticeable number of respondents (31%) revealed that overeating of sugar causes intestinal worms and that they mainly presented as altered eating habits / appetite (51.8%), abdominal pain (40.8%) and generalized weakness (26.3%). Regarding perceptions of drug treatment, nearly 2/3 of the respondents felt that the de-worming agent should be given to suspected child only (p<0.001), whereas 65% of the participants expected to observe worms after de-worming treatment (p<0.001). Contrary to the common use of self-medication in most other illnesses, self-treatment of worms on suspicion was declared by only 21.5% of the respondents (p<0.0001).This study confirms that misconceptions about intestinal worms in children were prevalent within the community. In addition to the issue of environmental sanitation, removal of the mistaken beliefs is a prerequisite for an effective and long-lasting parasitic control among children.

J Coll Physicians Surg Pak (Journal of the College of Physicians and Surgeons--Pakistan : JCPSP)
[2007, 17(9):527-530]

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