ASSESSMENT OF PARENTAL KNOWLEDGE AND ATTITUDE ON AUTISTIC SPECTRUM DISORDER
The aim of our study was assessment of parental knowledge and attitude on autistic spectrum disorder. Parents of 1-4 years old children (by simple randomization) were questioned with specially developed questionnaire (25 questions) in Tbilisi and 2 regions. The fully filled questionnaires of 292 respondents were analyzed. 93,4% (n=184) is women and 6,6 % (n=19) man 60,9 % (n=178) live in urban and 39,1 %(n=114) in rural area. 65.7 % of questioned population is aware about autistic spectrum disorder. Awareness is more in women, in urban living population and population with higher education, that is statistically significant (p< 0,005). The majority of parents 67,8 % (n=201) know that autistic spectrum disorder is neurodevelopmental problem, while 10,6 % (n=31) believes that it is mental problem, 8,9 % (n=26) learning disability, 6,1% (n=18) behavioral problem and 5,4 % (n=16) think that it is not connected to development. The knowledge on clinical signs of autistic spectrum disorder that is important to identify the problem is rather low: only 60,2 % knows about language development problems, about eye to eye contact problems knows 43,8 %, lack of gesticulation (33,5 %) no pretended play (35.2 %). The majority (38.1 %) of parent will bring child to doctor if child have no word after 2 years of age, that is quite delayed, 26.3 % of parents think that child with autistic disorder mostly are dangerous to others, 35,2 % think that they need special institutions and 36.9% of parents think that there is not any beneficial management options. The majority of parents (60.9 % n=178) receive information on autistic spectrum disorder via mass media and social media, 26.8 % (n=77) via friends and family and only 12,3 % (n=37) from medical staff.So despite the awareness about autistic spectrum disorder the knowledge of first clinical signs that help to identify the problem is low. That emphasizes importance of awareness rising companies among parents. Small sample size and with one ethnicity is our limitation to this study, as it might not give a good representative of the community. Thus, it is better to have higher sample size with wide diverse of community, which could provide more interesting results in the future study.
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