Stunting-related knowledge: exploring sources of and factors associated with accessing stunting-related knowledge among mothers in rural Indonesia

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Background: Stunting in young children continues to be a major concern in developing country settings, including middle income countries like Indonesia. Early intervention is critical to prevent increased morbidity and mortality, lower cognitive functioning, and diminished productivity in adulthood. Mothers may benefit from knowledge and information related to stunting causes and effects. Indonesia has readily adopted a variety of platforms, which are now being used to disseminate health information. The purpose of this study was to address two related research questions: 1) What are the primary sources of Indonesian mothers’ stunting-related knowledge? 2) What factors are associated with using these various platforms to access stunting-related information? Method: Mothers (n = 745) responded to questions about demographics and the source of stunting knowledge, which included hospitals, the Internet, midwives, posyandu (community health posts), and puskesmas (public health centers). Multivariate logistic regression was used to identify factors associated with mothers’ reported use of the three most common sources to acquire information about stunting, including posyandu, puskesmas and the Internet. Results: Eighty percent of mothers in this study sample used posyandu, 31.7% puskesmas, and 16.9% used the Internet as a source for stunting-related knowledge. For the three most common sources, factors associated with each included not accessing the other sources. Conclusions: Indonesian mothers are using a variety of platforms and services to acquire information about stunting. These sources are different one from another and each may be an important resource for disseminating health information, especially outside of urban centers. Results from this study may help to identify characteristics of Indonesian mothers who could benefit from acquiring stunting-related information in these formats. Each of these sources of information appears to be utilized by different groups of mothers. This is an important finding as it suggests that each may continue to be a resource for mothers that might not otherwise access stunting information. The Indonesian health system in rural settings has a history of support for posyandu and puskesmas. Moving forward, the Internet may also be used to improve outcomes for children of mothers that do not access information through these more traditional means.

Original languageEnglish
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 26 Sept 2018


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