Knowledge, attitude and behavior of mothers related to acute respiratory infections

Minerva Pediatr. 2016 Apr;68(2):114-20. Epub 2014 Sep 22.


Background: The aim of this paper was to evaluate the level of knowledge and general attitude to acute respiratory diseases and behavior of antibiotic usage and related factors.

Methods: The study included 122 mothers of children between 2 and 16 years of age who applied the complaint of respiratory infections and experienced the respiratory infections previous year, to policlinics between January and May 2012. A survey form was used to evaluate the sociodemographic properties of the mothers, and the level of knowledge, attitude and behavior of mothers to childhood acute respiratory infections, fever and antibiotic use.

Results: Of the children, 58.1% applied with cough, and 40.9% applied with fever to the doctor. Before attendance 28.6% of mothers had used antibiotics and 27.8% antipyretics. The rate use of not prescribed antibiotics was 12.3%. Before medical evaluation of children, the use of a variety of traditional and alternative medical methods was at the high rate of 57.4%. The average attitude scores of mothers about the antibiotics use for acute respiratory infections fell into the category of being against antibiotic use and income level toward antibiotic use and a correlation between duration of mother's education against antibiotic use.

Conclusions: We found that the level of knowledge of parents about medications used by their children was insufficient and there is a high percentage of non-prescription use of antibiotics. In low income and low education level of parents the use of antibiotics increased. Health workers must correctly inform parents about symptoms, course and medication. The effects of health education in the management of common diseases must be evaluated with studies.

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Antipyretics / therapeutic use
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Educational Status
  • Fever / drug therapy
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Income
  • Middle Aged
  • Mothers / statistics & numerical data*
  • Respiratory Tract Infections / drug therapy*
  • Self Medication / statistics & numerical data
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Young Adult


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Antipyretics