Journal Article

Behaviour Problems in Young Children in Rural Bangladesh

Naila Z. Khan, Shamim Ferdous, Robiul Islam, Afroza Sultana, Maureen Durkin and Helen McConachie

in Journal of Tropical Pediatrics

Volume 55, issue 3, pages 177-182
Published in print June 2009 | ISSN: 0142-6338
Published online December 2008 | e-ISSN: 1465-3664 | DOI:
Behaviour Problems in Young Children in Rural Bangladesh

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Objective: To determine the prevalence of child behaviour problems reported by parents in rural Bangladesh.

Methods: A total of 4003 children aged 2–9 years were identified during a population-based survey of 2231 households. A predetermined sample of 499 was selected, of which health professionals saw 453 (90.8%) for structured physical and neurological examination, standardized testing of cognition and adaptive behaviour and parent report of developmental history and behaviour problems.

Results: The prevalence of behaviour impairments was 14.6% (95% CI 11.4, 17.9). The majority involved somatic complaints, including nocturnal enuresis and pica. Problems such as aggression or restlessness were infrequently reported. Behaviour impairments were significantly associated with malnutrition (prevalence ratio 2.1, 95% CI 1.2, 3.6, p < 0.01) and cognitive, motor or seizure disabilities (prevalence ratio 1.8, 95% CI 1.1, 2.9, p < 0.05).

Conclusions: The prevalence and nature of reported behaviour impairments in rural Bangladesh have implications for public health planning and delivery of health services.

Keywords: developmental disabilities; mental health; prevalence; pica

Journal Article.  2995 words. 

Subjects: Paediatrics

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