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Matern Child Health J. 2005 Mar;9(1):83-90.

Preventive healthcare of infants in a region of Lebanon: parental beliefs, attitudes and behaviors.

Author information

1
INOVA Fairfax Hospital, The University of Virginia, Falls Church, Virginia, USA. gatiyeh@msn.com

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

This study aimed to investigate healthcare seeking behaviors of mothers for themselves and their infants in the Bekaa Valley, Lebanon, to identify attitudes and beliefs towards the preventive healthcare of infants and to assess whether a healthcare-based intervention program would be accepted by the population.

METHODS:

Ninety-two interviews were conducted with women who had delivered a live birth in two hospitals in the Bekaa. The hospitals selected attracted women from different socioeconomic classes.

RESULTS:

Differences were found in adequacy of healthcare utilization based on household size, number of children and prenatal care utilization. There was a higher perception of barriers to healthcare by parents who did not seek adequate preventive care for their infants. Mothers of infants who had inadequate care had a lower perception of severity of illness and of physicians' ability to prevent illness. The population believes strongly that medical professionals are reliable sources of health information and guidance. Infants' mothers and grandmothers are important sources of healthcare-related information.

CONCLUSIONS:

Rates of preventive infant healthcare in the Bekaa need improvement. Any intervention must target mothers and grandmothers, as they appear to influence the medical care of infants. Other targets include parents of larger families. Dissemination of information regarding the seriousness of illness and the ability to prevent illness is required. The medical profession may influence health choices made by this population. However, further investigation of healthcare barriers, especially economic and geographic barriers, is needed. In preparing to improve healthcare utilization for infants in the Bekaa, local, regional and international organizations should refer to the population's beliefs, attitudes and behaviors described in this study, as these findings may aid in planning interventions that are likely to positively impact mothers and infants.

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PMID:
15880977
DOI:
10.1007/s10995-005-2451-7
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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