The Knowledge, Attitude, and Practice of Caregivers of Children Under 5 Years of Age towards Enterovirus in Taiwan
2008 Vol.24 NO.6
Correspondence Author： Tsung-Hsi Wang
Cases of enterovirus infection and enterovirus infection with severe complications occur each year in Taiwan and mainly among children under 5 years of age. According to data collected by the Centers for Disease Control, the case number of enterovirus infection with severe complications showed an increase in the first quarter of 2008. In order to understand caregivers’ understanding of enterovirus, the preliminary symptoms of enterovirus infection with severe complications, the seriousness of the disease, confidence in hand-washing, hand-washing behavior, and in seeking medical assistance. This investigation uses telephone interviews through the NIIS. A total of 911 effective questionnaires were completed and with 95% confidence limits, the sampling error ± 3.3%.
61% of the interviewees expressed themselves to be parents of children under 5 years of age and 76% of the interviewees understood the fact that children under 3 years of age contracted with enterovirus infection with severe complications may lead to neurological sequela or even death. 78% of the interviewees have known about the enterovirus warning of this year within the last month. The information was mostly received (multiple choice) through the news (69%), followed by other persons (16%), and propaganda ads (15%). 87% of the interviewees could correctly identify one or more symptoms of enterovirus. 70% of them could identify the symptoms of fever and rash or small blisters on hands and feet as symptoms of enterovirus, with 51% knowing that sore throats were one of the symptoms. 79% of the interviewees were able to identify correctly one or more symptoms of enterovirus infection with severe complications. 60% had knowledge that vomiting was one of the symptoms followed by knowing the decrease of activity (55%), drowsiness (53%), and spasms (47%). Over 88% of the interviewees were confident that they remembered to wash their hands each time before holding the child, feeding the child, and after returning home. 74% answered that they washed their hands before coming in contact with the child; however, only 63% washed their hand correctly. After showing enterovirus symptoms, the order in which the caregivers sought medical assistance started with clinics (58%), followed by hospitals (40%). 82% of the interviewees chose pediatrics. 57% of the interviewees chose local hospitals in seeking medical assistance when the child showed suspected enterovirus infection with severe complications.
News reports were the main source of information for the interviewees which is lacking in information of the symptoms of enterovirus infection with severe complications. Caregivers’ have changed and become more alert to the preliminary signs and symptoms of enterovirus infection with severe complications. However, there are still 17% who seek medical assistance in clinics. Therefore, primary medical personnel should be continually instructed in order to elevate awareness of the disease. It is recommended that health facilities continue to promote news reports on how to wash your hands correctly and emphasize the importance of lathering a least 20 seconds and drying your hands.
Keywords:Enterovirus, knowledge, attitude, practice, washing hands