Knowledge and Attitude towards Thalassemia in Reproductive Women with Thalassemic Disease or Carrier

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Suwit Pichayaphan
Pisake Lumbiganon
Arunee Jetsrisuparb
Witoon Prasertcharoensuk
Sukunya Intharuksa

Abstract

OBJECTIVE : 1To  study  knowledge  and  attitude  towards  thalassemia  in reproductive

women  who   have the  disease  or  are  carriers.

2. To  assess factors  affecting  knowledge.

3. To  study  knowledge  and  attitude  towards  prenatal  diagnosis  in these

women.

STUDY  DESIGN :  A descriptive  study.

SETTING : University  Hospital.

SUBJECTS : 150 reproductive  women  with  thalassemic  disease  or  who  are  carriers.  They  were  either  mothers  of  thalassemic  children or  were  found  to have  thalassemic  disease  found  to  be  carrier  in the  antenatal  clinic.

MAIN  OUTCOME  MEASURES : knowledge  was  evaluated  by  a  pretested  questionnaire  co7ntaining   16  questions.  Women  were  classified  as  having  adequate  knowledge  in  thalassemia  if  they  answered  at  least  10  questions  correctly.  Attitude  was  assessed  also  by  a  pretested  questionnaire  containing  14  questions.  Factors  associated  with  knowledge  were  assessed  by  univariate  analysis  using  Chi-square  statistics.  Multiple  logistic  regression  analysis  was  used  as  a  control  for  potential  confounding  effects.

RESULTS : Sixty  women  (40.0%)  were  defined  as  having  adequate  knowledge.  Concerning  attitude,  the 150  women  had  a  good  attitude  towards  thalassemia.  Factors  affecting  knowledge  significantly  (p<0.05)  were  occupation, sources  of  knowledge,  perception  of  their  thalassemic   status,  duration  after  being  diagnosed.  In the  case  of  prenatal  diagnosis,  50. 7%  of  the  women  knew  that  thalassemia  can  be  diagnosed  before  birth, 18.7%  knew  that  prenatal  diagnosis  has  minimal  complications  and  46.0%  knew  that  pregnancy  with  severe  forms  of  thalassemia  should  be  terminated.

CONCLUSION : A  large  proportion  of  reproductive  women  thalassemic  disease  or  who  were  carriers  did  not  have  adequate  knowledge  about  thalassemia.  We  should  put  more  effort  in  giving  knowledge  to  these  groups  of  women.  Special  emphasis  should  be  placed  on  topics  which  they  knew  less  namely : the  effect  of  having  a  thalassemic  child,  inheritance  pattern,  prevention  and  control,  treatment,  and  prenatal  diagnosis.  Further  research  to  choose  effective  media  for  giving  the  knowledge  should  be  conducted.

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