Parental knowledge, attitude and practice regarding infant teething in rural and urban communities in southwest Nigeria: a comparative study
Background: Many parents still associate teething with one symptom or the other with the possibility of overlooking a potentially fatal condition because the condition is labelled as teething. This study was designed to assess and compare the knowledge, attitude and practice regarding infant teething among parents in a rural and an urban community in Lagos, Nigeria.
Methods: A comparative cross-sectional study was conducted in a household survey of 400 respondents in a rural and an urban community. Respondents were selected by multistage sampling. Data was collected using an interviewer-administered questionnaire and analysed using SPSS version 20.
Results: The proportion of respondents with good knowledge was significantly higher in the urban (72.5%) than in the rural area (58.5%) and secondary education was significantly associated with good knowledge in both areas (p<0.05). Higher education and occupation were significantly associated with positive attitude towards teething in both areas (p<0.05). The proportion of respondents with good practice regarding infant teething was significantly higher in the urban area (94.5%) than in the rural area (84.5%) [p=0.001].
Conclusion: There was better knowledge and practice among parents in the urban than the rural area. Community education, particularly in rural areas, is recommended to dispel myths and false beliefs about teething.
Keywords: Teething problems; Infants; Knowledge; Attitude; Practice