IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

Mothers' perceptions of severe pneumonia in their own children: A controlled study in Pakistan

Listed author(s):
  • Mull, Dorothy S.
  • Mull, J.Dennis
  • Kundi, M.Z.Malik
  • Anjum, Muhammad
Registered author(s):

    In 1992, 320 mothers were interviewed in a Rawalpindi hospital to identify which of the signs and symptoms they saw in their own children were most consistently linked with a clinical diagnosis of pneumonia as opposed to common cold. A related goal was to determine whether mothers could correctly judge the actual presence or absence of two major pneumonia signs--fast breathing and chest indrawing. The mothers were predominantly poor and 43% were illiterate. The study sample was composed of four matched groups: (1) mothers of 80 children with pneumonia, most with severe disease, interviewed after the child was referred to the ward; (2) mothers of 80 such children interviewed in the outpatient clinic prior to any discussion of the pneumonia diagnosis; (3) mothers of 80 children with common cold; and (4) mothers of 80 'well' children. Results showed that when mothers were interviewed in the clinic, their perception that a child had fast breathing and/or chest indrawing was highly correlated with pneumonia (sensitivity 64%, specificity 90%). Mothers were even more likely to say that a child had these signs after the pneumonia diagnosis had been conveyed, suggesting that interaction with doctors influenced their views. Fast breathing was better recognized than chest indrawing, and accurate diagnosis of both signs was better among mothers having prior experience with childhood pneumonia. The data suggest that even in the absence of formal ARI education, a majority of Pakistani mothers attending hospitals in indigent areas can recognize these two signs in their own children. However, the seriousness of the signs and their connection with pneumonia should be stressed in education campaigns since a high percentage of children had chest indrawing (a late sign of severe disease) by the time they were brought to the hospital.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Social Science & Medicine.

    Volume (Year): 38 (1994)
    Issue (Month): 7 (April)
    Pages: 973-987

    in new window

    Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:38:y:1994:i:7:p:973-987
    Contact details of provider: Web page:

    Order Information: Postal:

    No references listed on IDEAS
    You can help add them by filling out this form.

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:38:y:1994:i:7:p:973-987. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.