Lack of knowledge and misperceptions about thalassaemia among college students in Bangladesh: A community-level cross-sectional study

Abstract

This study attempted to assess knowledge and perceptions about thalassaemia among college students in Bangladesh. A supervised cross-sectional survey was conducted on 1578 college students using a self-administered structured questionnaire. The survey took place from 15 February 2018 to 17 March 2018 in the Jamalpur district in Bangladesh. Besides the attitude-related questions, the study asked a total of 12 knowledge-related questions, which were scored on a scale of 0–12 points. Over two-thirds (67%) of the college students had never heard of thalassaemia. The urban-rural dichotomy was observed among those familiar with the term; (46.4% from urban vs. 25.8% from rural colleges). A similar pattern was observed for knowledge score; 5.07 ± 1.87 for students from the urban colleges compared to 3.69 ± 2.23 for rural colleges. Students from the science background had the highest knowledge score (5.03 ± 1.85), while those from arts and humanities background scored lowest (3.66 ± 2.3). Nearly 40% of the students were not sure or did not want to be a friend of a thalassaemia patient. Whereas 39% either declined or remained hesitant about helping thalassaemia patients by donating blood. However, most of the respondents (88%) showed a positive attitude towards ‘premarital’ screening to prevent thalassaemia. This study has identified critical knowledge gaps and societal misperceptions about thalassaemia.

Publication
Orphanet Journal of Rare Diseases (Open Access)

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