Health Care-Seeking Behavior During Childhood Diarrheal Illness: Results of Health Care Utilization and Attitudes Surveys of Caretakers in Western Kenya, 2007-2010

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Omore, R. ; O'Reilly, C. E. ; Williamson, J. ; Moke, F. ; Were, V. ; Farag, T. H. ; van Eijk, Anna ; Kotloff, K. L. ; Levine, M. M. ; Obor, D. ; Odhiambo, F. ; Vulule, J. ; Laserson, K. F. ; Mintz, E. D. ; Breiman, R. F. (2013)
  • Publisher: American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
  • Journal: The American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, volume 89, issue 1 Suppl, pages 29-40 (issn: 0002-9637, eissn: 1476-1645)
  • Related identifiers: doi: 10.4269/ajtmh.12-0755, pmc: PMC3748498
  • Subject: ws_312 | wa_900 | 26bc6fb8 | wa_30 | wa_395 | Articles

We interviewed caretakers of 1,043 children < 5 years old in a baseline cross-sectional survey (April to May 2007) and > 20,000 children on five separate subsequent occasions (May of 2009 to December 31, 2010) to assess healthcare seeking patterns for diarrhea. Diarrhea prevalence during the preceding 2 weeks ranged from 26% at baseline to 4–11% during 2009–2010. Caretakers were less likely to seek healthcare outside the home for infants (versus older children) with diarrhea (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] = 0.33, confidence interval [CI] = 0.12–0.87). Caretakers of children with reduced food intake (aOR = 3.42, CI = 1.37–8.53) and sunken eyes during their diarrheal episode were more likely to seek care outside home (aOR = 4.76, CI = 1.13–8.89). Caretakers with formal education were more likely to provide oral rehydration solution (aOR = 3.01, CI = 1.41–6.42) and visit a healthcare facility (aOR = 3.32, CI = 1.56–7.07). Studies calculating diarrheal incidence and healthcare seeking should account for seasonal trends. Improving caretakers' knowledge of home management could prevent severe diarrhea.
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