The Relationship between Soil-Transmitted Helminthic Infections and the Behavior of Elementary School-Aged Children

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Asia Pacific Journal of Paediatric and Child Health,  Volume 4, Oct - Dec 2021

The Relationship between Soil-Transmitted Helminthic Infections and the Behavior of Elementary School-Aged Children

Primadiati Nickyta Sari 1 , Bambang Soebagyo 1 , Husnia Auliyatul Umma 1

ABSTRACT

Background: Soil-transmitted helminthic (STH) infection among elementary school-aged children can cause long-term effects on brain development, including future behavioral disorders. Currently, there are no studies that reveal the effect of STH infection on behavioral development disorders in elementary school-aged children.

Objective: To analyze the relationship between STH infections and the behavior of elementary school-aged children.

Methods: An analytical observational study with a cross-sectional approach in children aged 7-13 years with STH infection from February-August 2020 at the State Elementary School. Behavior disorders were assessed using the Pediatric Symptoms Checklist 17 Items (PSC-17) filled out by the parents. A multivariate regression test was applied, a p-value < 0.05 was considered as statistically significant.

Results: STH infection was shown to be significantly associated with internalizing behavioral disorders (Z = -2.064; p = 0.039), attention (t = -3.720; p = 0.001), and externalizing (Z = -3.664; p<0.001) (Table 2). STH infection had a significant relationship with internalizing, attention, and externalizing behavioral disorders with a coefficient of regression of B = 1.809 (0.281 to 3.337), p = 0.022 (Table 3); B = 2.507 (1.189 to 3.825), p<0.001 (Table 4); B = 3.608 (1.956 to 5.260), p<0.001 (Table 5).

Conclusion: STH infection is significantly associated with internalizing, attention, and externalizing behavioral disorders in elementary school-aged children.

Keywords: Soil-transmitted helminthic infection, Children’s behavioral disorders

Author’s Affiliation: 1- Department of Pediatrics, Dr. Moewardi Hospital/Faculty of Medicine Sebelas Maret University, Surakarta, Indonesia.

Correspondence: Primadiati Nickyta Sari, Email: primadiatinickytasari24@gmail.com