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Mathew, Osman, Azzam, George, Karkada, and Edwin: Effectiveness of structured teaching on knowledge of prevention of respiratory tract infections among caregivers of children under 5 years

Introduction: According to the World Health Organization, acute respiratory tract infections (RTIs) account for 4% of deaths in children under the age of 5 years in the United Arab Emirates.

Aims and objectives: The aim of the study was to assess the effectiveness of structured teaching on the knowledge of prevention of RTIs among caregivers of children aged < 5 years.

Materials and methods: A study was conducted using a quasiexperimental design. A validated questionnaire with 17 items was administered to a convenience sample of 50 caregivers with the aim of measuring their knowledge. After the pretest, structured teaching was provided for the caregivers and, on the third day, a post-test was carried out. Demographic information was also collected.

Results: Of the total sample of children, half were male and half were female; 84% were from a nuclear family. Of the caregivers, 68% were educated, 64% were unemployed, 86% resided in an urban area and 62% practised open waste disposal. In addition, 74% of the children were exposed to a cold climate, and 56% of children did not consume fruit on a daily basis. A total of 54% of the sample lived in a dusty environment, 58% were residing in an area where there were no plants near the household, 68% of the children were not assessed regularly by health care professionals and 80% of the caregivers did not receive health education from health care providers. The mean pretest knowledge was 5.9 (standard deviation 4.37), which improved post test (P < 0.0001), demonstrating the effectiveness of structured teaching programmes. There was no association between the selected demographic variables and knowledge.

Conclusion: The study concludes that structured teaching will improve the knowledge of prevention of RTIs among caregivers.

Acknowledgements: We wish to acknowledge the study participants, the Dean of the Ras Al Khaimah College of Nursing and our supervisors.

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