Abstract

Introduction: The infantile colic is a difficult experience met by parents in the first few months of an infant’s life. This may lead to increased discomfort for infants as well as psychological distress for mothers. This study aimed at assessing the baseline knowledge of mothers in Saudi Arabia about infantile colic mainly in regard to the etiology and management.

Methods: In this cross-sectional study, a questionnaire was distributed among mothers in six primary healthcare centers (PHCC) in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, during their visit for immunization clinics in 2016. The questionnaire consisted of two domains for determining the sociodemography characteristics and the maternal knowledge of participants about infantile colic. SPSS version 20 and chi-square test were used for data analysis.

Results: A total of 230 mothers completed the survey questionnaire. Of these, 208 participants were Saudis. The majority of the participants were in the age group of 18–29 years (42.6%). The average age of the infants in this study was found to be 5.75±4.26 months. Eighty percent replied that they did not have any previous knowledge of infantile colic; 42.6% mothers believed that the causes of infantile colic were unclear and might involve several factors; 36% of the participants perceived milk allergy as the attributing cause for infantile colic. The source of knowledge about infantile colic was mainly through experiences of dealing with previous siblings who have the same issue (34.4%); 27.4% of mothers prefer the use of herbal medicines to treat this condition.

Conclusions: It is recommended that health education needs to be provided to mothers at outpatient clinics during their antenatal hospital visits. This reduces the discomfort of infant and distress in mothers.

 

Keywords: Maternal knowledge, Infantile colic, Psychological distress, Health education
 
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