Factors influencing practice regarding severe malaria among health workers in Central province, Papua New Guinea
Purpose - The objective of this study was to describe the current practice and to investigate factors influencing practice on severe malaria among health workers in Central Province, Papua New Guinea.
Design/methodology/approach - A cross-sectional study, with 142 participants were recruited and completed self-administered questionnaire during May 2018. Pearson chi-square and Fishers exact test were used to identify associations between independent and dependent variables; and logistic regression was used to control confounders and identify predictors on practice regarding severe malaria.
Findings - On-the-job training of health workers 6 months prior to the study was low (18.3%). Most participants (90%) had low-to-moderate knowledge of severe malaria. High knowledge (p=0.001, AOR=42.53, 95%CI=4.239-426.739) and high perceived benefits (p=0.015, AOR=6.25, 95%CI=1.422-27.47) were positive predictors of overall practice compared to low knowledge. Work experience >20 years was a negative predictor of overall practice (p=0.020, AOR=0.181, 95%CI=0.039-0.836). Age >50 years (p=0.001, AOR=0.17, 95%CI=0.062-0.463) and moderate knowledge (p=0.026, AOR=0.26, 95%CI=0.076-0.360) were negative predictors of diagnostic practice. Male sex (p=0.046, AOR=2.28, 95%CI=1.017-5.117) and high perceived benefits (p=0.042, AOR=2.52, 95%CI=1.032-6.187) were positive predictors of treatment practice. Income >K500 was negative predictor of compliant treatment practice compared to income <K500. Being married (p=0.012, AOR=6.325, 95%CI=1.491-26.840), positive attitude to responsiveness (p=0.017, AOR=5.846, 95%CI=1.370-24.943) and positive predictors of following up patients. Unfavorable cues were a strong negative predictor of following up severe malaria patients (p=0.005, AOR=0.153, 95%CI=0.041-0.575).
Originality/value - This is the first study in PNG exclusively focused on severe malaria. The study shows that level of knowledge and level of perceived benefits appear to have more effect on diagnosis and treatment of severe malaria.
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