Evaluation and comparison of knowledge, attitude and practice about iron deficiency anemia amongst medical students of rural and urban background
Keywords:Iron deficiency anemia, Rural, Urban, Knowledge, Attitude, Practice
Background: Iron Deficiency Anemia (IDA) is most prevalent anemia worldwide. Women have additional iron requirement from puberty to menopause. This arises from physiological needs of menstruation, pregnancy and lactation. Iron is required for oxygen transport, cellular oxidation, phagocytosis and immune functions. The magnitude of anemia as health problem is huge and can be tackled with increasing awareness, promotion of correct attitudes and practices.
Methods: Cross sectional study consisting of 50 medical students of age group 18-22 years divided in two groups coming from rural (Group I) and urban background (Group II). A structured questionnaire of 26 questions, out of which 18 questions based on knowledge. 4 on attitude and 4 on practice. Response was assessed using Percentage analysis and Chi square test.
Results: All students defined anemia as Hb <11 g/dl, RBC <4.5 million/cu.mm with pallor. 80% students having knowledge that anemia is more common in rural area. Most common sources of information were books and teachers (76% in Group I and 56% in Group II). The practice of eating green vegetables and taking tea after meals was more in Group I.
Conclusions: The results of our study showed that though Group II had better knowledge regarding IDA Group I followed more favourable practices. Our study, though small in size gives a glimpse of the greater picture. The attitude and practice of students and society in general needs to be improved with intensive media campaigns. Greater awareness about causes, prevention and treatment will go a long way in combating IDA.
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