Neurodevelopmental disorders (NDDs) are growing worldwide in both developed and developing countries. Parents are primary caregivers to recognize the signs and symptoms of children's behavior or mental -illness. This study is to obtain basic knowledge and awareness about NDDs in children in Nepali community. People in Nepali community have various religions and outdated belief. This study analyzes misconceptions and factors that influence the knowledge regarding NDDs among general populations, which can help to build early recognition and give support towards families with children diagnosed as mental and psychiatric disorders.
This is a descriptive study conducted among parents of children visited in out-patients department in Nirmala Devi hospital. This survey is based on questionnaire interview with parents regarding socio-demographic information and their knowledge and opinion about NDDs. A total of 500 parents were recruited. Data were collected in excel sheet and analyzed by using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS).
Among our study population, 54.4% were female and 45.4% of them were from age 30 to 39 years. The majority of participants (57.8%) live in village, 75.6% were Hinduism and 52.2% were formal educational status. In general, the participants' knowledge and opinions regarding NDDs were poor. When asked about autism symptoms, 65.4% of the female respondents were more positive than the male counterparts. When comparison of religion and mental illness are related to God, all religions of respondents were positive. Residency from both city and village agreed that fear of using drugs for treatment of psychiatric disorder resulted from negative media coverage. Highly educated respondents were more likely to consider psychiatric illness as treatable where as formal educated respondent take it the other way.
Public knowledge and awareness regarding NDDs need to improve. Formal educated participants should be the target for mental health education and several misconceptions. Anti-stigma and mental health knowledge programmed should be increased in public and community to improve the quality of life.