FACTORS ASSOCIATED WITH DENGUE KNOWLEDGE OF SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS, AND TREATMENT-SEEKING BEHAVIOR AMONG COMMUNITY IN A DENGUE HOTSPOT AREA IN MALAYSIA
Background: Dengue is a major public health problem in Malaysia. Dengue cases continue to increase yearly despite numerous dengue awareness campaigns. Community's level of knowledge regarding dengue and health-seeking behavior is essential for developing an intervention for future treatment and preventative strategies. Therefore, this study aims to determine the knowledge related to dengue signs and symptoms, and treatment-seeking behavior among community living in a hotspot endemic dengue area. This study also identifies factors associated with knowledge of dengue signs and symptoms and treatment-seeking behavior.
Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted in Kubang Kerian, a dengue hotspot area in Kelantan. Self-administered questionnaires were distributed to 218 participants. Multiple linear regression analysis was used to identify factors associated with knowledge of dengue signs and symptoms and treatment-seeking behavior.
Results: Factors associated with knowledge of dengue signs and symptoms are education level, dengue fever experience, and awareness of dengue public campaign. For treatment-seeking behavior, associated factors are monthly income and history of hospitalization for dengue treatment.
Conclusion: Early recognition of dengue signs and symptoms are important for prompt treatment to reduce complications and mortality. Delays in getting proper treatment could result in a fatality. Hence, dengue prevention awareness or educational campaigns must also stress the importance of seeking treatment promptly. Such campaigns should target community with lower socio-economic status to enrich their knowledge.Keywords: Dengue, knowledge, treatment-seeking behavior, Malaysia