Acceptability of and adherence to dispersible zinc tablet in the treatment of acute childhood diarrhoea

J Health Popul Nutr. 2005 Sep;23(3):215-21.


Zinc treatment is now recommended by the World Health Organization as part of the routine management of acute childhood diarrhoea. A dispersible zinc tablet formulation was developed taking into account the taste, cost, and feasibility to distribute and store. Only limited information is available on the acceptability of and adherence to dispersible zinc tablet. No study has formally assessed whether the formulation is acceptable to children and if caretakers can adhere to the instructions regarding preparation, dosage, and duration of treatment. This community-based study aimed at determining the acceptability of and adherence to a dispersible zinc tablet formulation in a cohort of children (n=320) aged less than five years. Caretakers of children with acute childhood diarrhoea were prescribed zinc tablet treatment and followed up after 2-3 weeks. The formulation was acceptable to children; 90.1% of 303 caretakers perceived that the tablets were equally or even more acceptable to their children compared to other medicines. Ninety-eight percent of the children received the standard dose of one tablet per day, and 55.8% completed the full 10-day course of zinc treatment. Adherence rates did not vary by age or gender of the child. These findings indicate that the tablet formulation is acceptable, but further efforts are required to enhance adherence.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Bangladesh
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cohort Studies
  • Diarrhea / drug therapy*
  • Diarrhea / therapy
  • Diarrhea, Infantile / drug therapy
  • Female
  • Fluid Therapy
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Patient Compliance*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Zinc / deficiency
  • Zinc / therapeutic use*


  • Zinc