Multilevel analysis of factors associated with treatment-seeking behaviors among caregivers with febrile children in Malawi

Nkoka, O., Chuang, T.-W. and Chen, Y.-H. (2019) Multilevel analysis of factors associated with treatment-seeking behaviors among caregivers with febrile children in Malawi. American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, 100(6), pp. 1454-1465. (doi: 10.4269/ajtmh.18-0900) (PMID:30994089) (PMCID:PMC6553897)

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Abstract

Early diagnosis and treatment of childhood fever, an important sign of potentially serious infections such as malaria, is essential for controlling disease progression, and ultimately, preventing deaths. This study examined individual- and community-level factors associated with treatment-seeking behaviors and promptness in these behaviors among caregivers of febrile under-five children in Malawi. The 2015-2016 Malawi Demographic Health Survey was used to analyze a nationally representative sample of 4,133 under-five children who had fever within 2 weeks before the survey. A multilevel logistic regression model was used to examine the association between individual- and community-level factors and treatment-seeking behaviors. Approximately 67.3% of the caregivers reported seeking treatment for their febrile child, whereas only 46.3% reported promptly seeking treatment. Children from communities with moderate and high percentages of educated caregivers were more likely to be taken for treatment (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] = 1.26, 95% CI = 1.01-1.58 and aOR = 1.31, 95% CI = 1.02-1.70, respectively) than those from communities with a low percentage of educated caregivers. Children from communities with moderate and high percentages of caregivers complaining about the distance to a health facility were less likely to be taken for treatment (aOR = 0.74, 95% CI = 0.58-0.96 and aOR = 0.67, 95% CI = 0.51-0.88, respectively). At the individual level, having a cough in the last 2 weeks, region, religion, and having better health behaviors in other health dimensions were associated with fever treatment-seeking behaviors among Malawian caregivers. Programs aimed at improving treatment-seeking behaviors should consider these factors and the regional variations observed in this study.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Nkoka, Dr Owen
Authors: Nkoka, O., Chuang, T.-W., and Chen, Y.-H.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Health and Wellbeing > Robertson Centre
Journal Name:American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
Publisher:American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
ISSN:0002-9637
ISSN (Online):0002-9637
Published Online:15 April 2019
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2019 by The American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
First Published:First published in American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene 100(6):1454-1465
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher

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