Background Parents knowledge about the child growth, development and the main signs of disease have a great impact on the quality of life. In our medical practice we observed a deficiency in parents knowledge about all of these information. Thereby we wanted to do an objective analysis of this phenomenon in order to adopt some measures to adjust specific educational deficiencies.
Methods We conducted a prospective observational study in two periods of time (March 2015 an February 2016) that consisted of a questionnaire with 40 questions each (mostly dichotomous) that was completed by the caregivers of the children hospitalised in the Emergency Hospital for Children „Maria Sklodowska Curie’ from Bucharest.
Results In the group studied (n=128 of parents/caregivers) the mean age was 29.25 years (standard deviation 8.45 years). Less than half (45%) planned the pregnancy and were followed by a gynaecologist or a general practitioner. Only 7% of respondents participated in courses about child growth. The main reasons for not attending these courses were the lack of the popularity, the fact that they did not realised the importance of these knowledge before and also the fact that the courses are not free of charge. In the studied group only a quarter of children received exclusive breast feed in the first six months of life even if WHO stongly recommends it. Although 90% consider vaccination useful, only two thirds of them would vaccinate their children from their own initiative and an eighth would use any of the optionals. The majority (88%) said that the immunity supplements are necessary for the child’s well being and a roughly equal proportion believe that iv adminstration of antibiotic treatment is more effective than the oral one and that hospitalisation compared to home treatments has better results. For an information about their child health they use as a main source the general practician or the paediatrician with whom the relationship is at least at the physician-patient level.
Conclusions We observed some deficiencies of general medical knowledge in terms of nutrition, immunoprophylaxis and treatment of acute illness. Consequently, we consider necessary future prioritisation of medical education made by free classes for parents and also during their visit to the paediatrician or general practitioner.
- parents knowledge
- child growth
- signs of disease
- home treatment
- medical education
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