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October 2021

Salud Publica Mex. 1998 May-Jun; 40(3): 256-64.

[Maternal practices in infantile diarrheic disease and oral rehydration therapy]

Alvarez-Larrauri S.

Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia, México.

OBJECTIVE: To determine therapeutic practices used by mothers from Coatepec, Veracruz, in case of diarrheic episodes in their children under 5 years of age, the degree of generalization, and the relationship with the social frame that sustains them. MATERIAL AND METHODS: A sample of 300 families was randomly selected from a total of 15,740. Quantitative and qualitative information was gathered through structured open surveys. Non-parametric statistical analysis of the therapeutic practices was performed and their relationship with socioeconomic variables was analyzed. RESULTS: The two practices considered to obstruct the oral rehydration therapy most, were common: infrequent use of oral rehydration serum (ORS) and contraindicated medication. Non-parametric analysis indicated a significant relationship between contraindicated practices and a mistaken concept of dehydration. On the other hand, the relationship between a correct concept of dehydration and a) using ORS, b) not using contraindicated medication and c) limiting the use of traditional medicine was also significant. Socioeconomic variables had no significant relationship with any particular practice nor with the concept of dehydration. Qualitative interpretation describes how the social meanings that sustain these practices are constructed and reproduced through social nets. CONCLUSIONS: The participation of health suppliers in the reproduction of therapeutic practices should be further investigated, as well as their relationship with the reproduction patterns of social meaning through the nets of social aid.

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