1Student Research Committee, Kashan University of Medical Sciences, Kashan, IR Iran
2Department of Pediatric, Kashan University of Medical Sciences, Kashan, IR Iran
3Trauma Nursing Research Center, Kashan University of Medical Sciences, Kashan, IR Iran
4Department of Statistics, Kashan University of Medical Sciences, Kashan, IR Iran
Background Diarrhea has been considered as a major cause of mortality in children aged less than five years old. Most of these deaths are due to dehydration and mis management or delayed management of the disease. Most of the diarrhea episodes are treated in the home by mothers. Therefore the mothers’ knowledge in management of diarrhea is likely related to its mortality and morbidity. Objectives This study designed to evaluate the knowledge of the mothers with children under five years old about diarrhea and its management and to identify the relation of the knowledge content with some demographic characteristics. Materials and Methods In this cross-sectional study, 430 mothers who had at least one child aged below five years old were selected by cluster sampling. The mothers were asked to complete the 22 items questionnaire designed to evaluate their knowledge of diarrhea. Some demographic characteristics such as age, number of children, education of the mother and her spouse and the source of knowledge also were recorded. Subsequently, the data analyzed using descriptive statistics and chi-square test. Results Most of the mothers were 25-30 years old (43.8%). Slightly more than half (55.6%) had just one child. The health center, educational programs and the personal reading were the main sources of the knowledge about the treatment (43.7%). Twenty eight point eight percent of the mothers had a good knowledge in diarrhea diagnosis and its treatment, while the 46.5% had medium and 24.7% suffered low knowledge. The knowledge of the mothers had significant relationship with the age of the mother, education of the father, number of children, occupation of the mother, and the source of the knowledge. Conclusions The mothers studied in this research had inadequate knowledge about diagnosis and treatment of diarrhea. The educational programs must be an essential part of the health centers programs.