Healthcare-seeking behaviour of primary caregivers for acute otitis media in children

Villarreal, I. et al. BMC Pediatrics. Published online: 5 January 2017

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Background: Acute otitis media (AOM) is the most common bacterial childhood infection. However, caregivers with children having mild episodes often do not seek healthcare services, which may lead to an under-appreciation of the disease experienced by the community. The objectives of this survey were to estimate the proportion of primary caregivers who went to a healthcare facility when they suspected that their child aged 6 to <30 months was having an AOM episode during the past 6 months and to assess what factors influenced their decision.

 

Conclusions: When confronted with a child with obvious symptoms of AOM, the majority of caregivers reported seeking healthcare. This behaviour appeared to be associated with factors related to the severity of the illness, the length of time since the last episode, as well as with the income and occupational status of the caregivers themselves. As many episodes of AOM present with non-specific respiratory symptoms, our results apply only to caregivers who were confronted with children with an obvious symptom.

Read the full abstract here

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