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Indian Journal of Community Medicine

Knowledge, Attitude and Practice (KAP) on Dengue fever: A Hospital Based Study

Author(s): S Matta, S Bhalla, D Singh, S K Rasania, S Singh

Vol. 31, No. 3 (2006-07 - 2006-09)

S Matta, S Bhalla, D Singh, S K Rasania, S Singh


Dengue/Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever (DHF) is an emergent disease in India. It is endemic in some parts of country and contributes annual outbreaks of dengue/ DHF1. Dengue virus infection is endemic in and around Delhi with peak incidence between September and November2. In the year 2003, (from 1 June to 9 November), 2185 laboratory confirmed cases of dengue fever had been reported in Delhi and surrounding areas3. The present KAP study was done with the aim of assessing knowledge regarding Dengue fever among general population attending a hospital out patient department. Another aim was to assess, whether simple preventive measures to check and destroy the breeding sites of mosquito like checking of coolers, discarded tires, flower pots etc. are being practiced in the community.

Material and Methods

This study was done in, the OPD of Safdarjang Hospital, New Delhi. Every second patient coming out of general OPD was interviewed with a pre-designed questionnaire. Apart from education and occupation of the respondents, questions on knowledge about Dengue fever, its signs and symptoms and preventive practices like checking of coolers, tires etc for mosquito breeding were included in the questionnaire. Overall 500 interviews were taken in 28 days (from 1st October to 28th October 2003). Interviews were taken by Senior residents of Community Medicine Department, VMMC and Safdarjang hospital, New Delhi. Results were compiled and analyzed on windows 98 (MS word/Excel) version.

Results and Discussion

Overall 338 males and 162 females were interviewed. Study population largely comprised of adults and literate individuals (Table I) as out of 500 persons surveyed, 432 (84.6 %) were from the age group of 26 – 40 years. 449 (89.8 %) were literates. Overall 82.4 percent respondents knew that dengue fever is transmitted by mosquito and 54 persons associated Dengue with flies/person to person transmission. A field-based study from Thailand4 also had similar findings. Another study from Delhi5 concluded that 71 and 89 percent respondents from rural and urban areas respectively had the knowledge regarding mosquito transmission. Regarding knowledge about signs and symptoms of dengue, 309 (61.8 %) persons could enumerate one symptom (fever), 103(20.6%) persons could enumerate 2 symptoms (fever, bleeding) and 56(11.2%) persons could enumerate 3 symptoms of Dengue (fever, headache and bleeding). Similar findings were also reported by another study5. Regarding knowledge about breeding, 399 (79.8 %) respondents knew about breeding places of mosquitoes. “Coolers” as the most probable breeding site (for mosquitoes) was named by 42.4 percent respondents followed by “cooler and tires” by 24.2 percent (Table II). It has already been substantiated4-6 that people have good idea about the breeding places of mosquitoes. 326 (65.2) respondents were having redundant tires, plastic pots and flower pots on rooftops or in their houses, and they accepted the fact, that they were never checking them for mosquito breeding. Out of 178 (35.6 %) persons having cooler in their house, 98 (55.0 %) said that they never check coolers for mosquito breeding. Only 42 (23.5 %) persons were correctly checking the cooler on weekly basis. It may be concluded that though the knowledge regarding dengue is good in the general population, practice of checking coolers, tires and flower pots is quite poor. Similar findings were reported by another study7. On the contrary, a study from Kuala Kangsar6 concludes a significant association between knowledge of dengue and attitude towards Aides control.

Table I: Education and Occupation of Respondents (N=500)

Education No. % Occupation No. %
Illiterate 45 9.0 Daily wager 49 9.8
Higher secondary 47 9.4 housewife 86 17.2
Senior secondary 117 23.4 Computer /Call center operator 119 23.8
Post graduate 287 57.4 Government official 216 43.2
No comments 4 0.8 *Miscellaneous 30 6.0
*truck driver, tailor, car mechanic etc.

Table II: Knowledge Regarding Breeding Places of Mosquitoes

Options No. (N=500) %
Coolers 212 42.4
Coolers and Tires 121 24.2
Coolers, Tires and flower pots 30 7.6
Burrows and pits 16 3.2
Vessels/ Containers 11 3.8
Coconut shells 9 1.8
No comments/not aware 101 20.2

As far as various preventive measures to check the breeding are concerned, a total of 74 respondents said that they check the coolers. They included 31 (41.0%) who changed the water, 12 (16.2%) who cleaned the coolers thoroughly and 32 (43.2 %) who added Kerosene oil. Regarding personal protection against mosquito bite 386 (77.2 %) respondents were relying upon Mats/coils and 101 (20.2 %) were using bed nets. l3 respondents did not give any comments. Regarding the source of information on Dengue fever, out of 500 respondents, 286 (57.2%) came to know about Dengue fever through television and/or radio followed, by 24.2%, to newspapers and banners. This is in agreement with other studies1. 93 (19.0 %) respondents did not give any comments. Role of IEC and of mass media for delivering the IEC has been highlighted elsewhere6.

The fact that this disease is endemic in and around Delhi with its peak incidence between September and November 2 highlights the need for proper monitoring and surveillance of Dengue infection right from the time when the transmission season is about to start. Strengthening of surveillance along with health education to the community and proper training of health personnel can go long way in control of Dengue infection1.


  1. Sharma SN, Raina VK, Kumar A. Dengue/DHF: An emerging disease in India. J Com. Dis. 2000; 32(3):175-9.
  2. Kurukumbi M, Wali JP, Broor S, Aggarwal P, Seth P, Handa R, Dhar L, Vajapayee M. Seroepidemiology and active surveillance of dengue fever/dengue haemorrhagic fever in Delhi. Indian J Med Sci. 2001; 55(3): 149-56.
  3. World health report, Communicable Disease Surveillance and Response (CSR), Dengue fever in India – update, 12 November, 2003 Web site: ( don/2003_11_12/en/).
  4. Swaddiwudhipong W, Lerdlukanavonge P, Khumklam P, Koonchote S, Nguntra P, Chaovakiratipong C. A survey of knowledge, attitude and practice of the prevention of dengue hemorrhagic fever in an urban community of Thailand. Southeast Asian J Trop Med Public Health. 1992; 23(2):207-11.
  5. Gupta P, Kumar P, Aggarwal OP., Knowledge, attitude and practices related to dengue in rural and slum areas of Delhi after the dengue epidemic of 1996. J Commun Dis. 1998 Jun; 30(2): 107 -12.
  6. Hairi F, Ong CH, Suhaimi A, Tsung TW, bin Anis Ahmad MA, Sundaraj C, Soe MM. Knowledge, attitude and practices (KAP) study on dengue among selected Rural communities in the Kuala Kangsar district. Asia Pacific J Public Health. 2003; 15(1) : 37-43.
  7. Degallier N, Vilarinhos PT, de Carvalho MS, Knox MB, Caetano J Jr People’s Knowledge and practice about dengue, its vectors, and control means in Brasilia (DF), Brazil: its relevance with entomological factors. J Am Mosq Control Assoc. 2000;16(2):114-23.

Deptt. of Community Medicine, VMMC and Safdarjang Hospital, New Delhi. Email: [email protected]

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