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Cadernos de Saúde Pública

On-line version ISSN 1678-4464Print version ISSN 0102-311X


CRUZ, Ana M. de la; BRAVO, José  and  ROJAS, Vivianne de. Knowledge, beliefs, and practices related to acute respiratory infections in the elderly. Cad. Saúde Pública [online]. 1999, vol.15, n.4, pp.851-857. ISSN 1678-4464.

Knowledge, beliefs, and practices related to acute respiratory infections (ARIs) in individuals caring for the elderly (over 65 years of age) were evaluated. Home interviews were conducted with 245 persons: 136 lived in urban areas and 109 in rural areas. Mean age was 62 years. All interviewees could read and write. Some 52% of the elderly cared for themselves. A total of 33% smoked. They were generally unaware of the severity of signs and symptoms in ARIs (37% could not mention any). Some 47% did not follow the physician's orders. Self-medication with antibiotics was commonplace. A total of 28% failed to increase liquid intake during the course of ARIs. The results demonstrated insufficient knowledge and management of ARIs in the elderly. An educational program and specific intervention were conducted to improve the situation identified by the study.

Keywords : Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice; Respiratory Tract Infections; Aged; Aging Health.

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