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[Ethnography of acute respiratory infections in a rural zone of Mexican highlands].
Salud Publica Mex. 1997 May-Jun; 39(3):207-16.SP

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To identify the terms used by mothers to refer to diseases, signs and symptoms related to acute respiratory illnesses (ARI), alarming signs which should motivate them to seek medical attention, and to describe common home practices of disease care and treatment.

MATERIAL AND METHODS

An ethnographic study was performed in six rural communities of the Mexican central highlands. Interviews were collected from 12 key informers, six mothers of children who had died from ARI and 24 mothers of children younger than five years of age, with several ethnographic techniques to complement information ("triangulation").

RESULTS

The most commonly identified diseases were cold, sore throat, cough, bronchitis, pneumonia and "bronchopneumonia". Key signs to establish diagnosis included nasal discharge, sore throat, cough, head and body ache, fever. "bubbling" chest, general malaise and shortness of breath. Tachypnea was referred to as "strong breathing", "much breathing", "rapid breathing" or "sizzle"; intercostal depression as "the chest sinks", stridor as "chest moan or chest snore", sibilance as "chest snore" and cyanosis as "he turns purple". Home treatments include herbal teas, lemon, green or red tomato or potato applied to the throat externally, as well as creams applied to chest or back. Antibiotic prescription was not common, contrary to antipyretics. Most mothers recognized mild illnesses: severe illnesses were recognized less frequently. When faced with a severe ARI, mothers sought attention firstly at the project clinic, second in frequency with a private physician in the capital of the province and then at the Health Ministry of the district. The reasons to choose these possibilities were mainly proximity and lower costs.

CONCLUSIONS

This information can be useful to improve communication with mothers.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Grupo Interistitucional de Investigación en Sistemas de Salud, Secretaría de Salud-Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social, México.No affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info available

Pub Type(s)

Comparative Study
English Abstract
Journal Article

Language

spa

PubMed ID

9304224

Citation

Martínez, H, et al. "[Ethnography of Acute Respiratory Infections in a Rural Zone of Mexican Highlands]." Salud Publica De Mexico, vol. 39, no. 3, 1997, pp. 207-16.
Martínez H, Suriano K, Ryan GW, et al. [Ethnography of acute respiratory infections in a rural zone of Mexican highlands]. Salud Publica Mex. 1997;39(3):207-16.
Martínez, H., Suriano, K., Ryan, G. W., & Pelto, G. H. (1997). [Ethnography of acute respiratory infections in a rural zone of Mexican highlands]. Salud Publica De Mexico, 39(3), 207-16.
Martínez H, et al. [Ethnography of Acute Respiratory Infections in a Rural Zone of Mexican Highlands]. Salud Publica Mex. 1997 May-Jun;39(3):207-16. PubMed PMID: 9304224.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - [Ethnography of acute respiratory infections in a rural zone of Mexican highlands]. AU - Martínez,H, AU - Suriano,K, AU - Ryan,G W, AU - Pelto,G H, PY - 1997/5/1/pubmed PY - 1997/9/26/medline PY - 1997/5/1/entrez SP - 207 EP - 16 JF - Salud publica de Mexico JO - Salud Publica Mex VL - 39 IS - 3 N2 - OBJECTIVE: To identify the terms used by mothers to refer to diseases, signs and symptoms related to acute respiratory illnesses (ARI), alarming signs which should motivate them to seek medical attention, and to describe common home practices of disease care and treatment. MATERIAL AND METHODS: An ethnographic study was performed in six rural communities of the Mexican central highlands. Interviews were collected from 12 key informers, six mothers of children who had died from ARI and 24 mothers of children younger than five years of age, with several ethnographic techniques to complement information ("triangulation"). RESULTS: The most commonly identified diseases were cold, sore throat, cough, bronchitis, pneumonia and "bronchopneumonia". Key signs to establish diagnosis included nasal discharge, sore throat, cough, head and body ache, fever. "bubbling" chest, general malaise and shortness of breath. Tachypnea was referred to as "strong breathing", "much breathing", "rapid breathing" or "sizzle"; intercostal depression as "the chest sinks", stridor as "chest moan or chest snore", sibilance as "chest snore" and cyanosis as "he turns purple". Home treatments include herbal teas, lemon, green or red tomato or potato applied to the throat externally, as well as creams applied to chest or back. Antibiotic prescription was not common, contrary to antipyretics. Most mothers recognized mild illnesses: severe illnesses were recognized less frequently. When faced with a severe ARI, mothers sought attention firstly at the project clinic, second in frequency with a private physician in the capital of the province and then at the Health Ministry of the district. The reasons to choose these possibilities were mainly proximity and lower costs. CONCLUSIONS: This information can be useful to improve communication with mothers. SN - 0036-3634 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/9304224/[Ethnography_of_acute_respiratory_infections_in_a_rural_zone_of_Mexican_highlands]_ DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -