Malaria knowledge and treatment adherence in a Brazilian Amazon community
Introduction: Malaria remains an important public health problem despite recent scientific breakthroughs regarding knowledge about malaria and treatment strategies. The objective of this study was to analyze malaria patients’ knowledge about the disease, its treatment and prevention, linking it to drug treatment adherence.
Methodology: A descriptive, cross-sectional, epidemiological survey study was conducted in the district of Três Fronteiras-MT. The study included 618 individuals who were interviewed and examined for Plasmodium infection. Of the 52 patients diagnosed with malaria, 27 were visited at home for an interview about malaria knowledge and treatment adherence. Treatment adherence was evaluated by self-reports and drug conference.
Results: A total of 18 patients had satisfactory knowledge (66.6%) and 9 were evaluated as having unsatisfactory knowledge (33.4%) about malaria. Of the 27 malaria patients, 21 (77.8%) reported having taken all the medication as prescribed, in the correct period of time and dosage, and had no medication tablets remaining. The majority (72.2%) of patients who had satisfactory knowledge, as well as the majority (88.8%) of those who had unsatisfactory knowledge, adhered to the malaria treatment.
Conclusions: This study revealed a high proportion of patients with satisfactory prior knowledge about malaria and revealed that this knowledge was not related to disease treatment adherence. These results have implications for planning strategies for malaria control in the region and could contribute to the reduction in the cases of non-adherence to malaria treatment.
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