Background: Infantile colic (IC) is an important cause of exhaustion, stress and depression to parents of affected infants. It may put the affected infant at an increased risk of abuse.
Aim: To determine the knowledge base and practice of healthcare workers on infantile colic in Plateau State.
Study methods: A descriptive, cross-section study. An open ended, self-administered structured questionnaires were given to healthcare workers in Plateau State who were invited to a scientific symposium on infantile colic; the Nigeria perspective. The questionnaires elicited relevant information on the knowledge and practice of respondents on infantile colic.
Results: Of 255 (93.4%) respondents who heard of infantile colic, 182 (75.8%) heard of IC in health facility, and 17 (7.1%) the media. Two hundred and thirty-four (85.7%) knew IC affects infantile. Seventy-eight (32%) and 77 (31.6%) of respondents said IC is caused by infection and mixed feeding respectively. Only 8(3.3%) and 1(0.4%) of respondents correctly identified swallowed air and gut motility respectively as hypothesized causes of IC. Sleeplessness, intense/prolonged crying, irritability were correctly identified as common manifestations of IC in 85.7% of respondents. Antibiotics was the preferred agent of treatment of IC in 113 (44.5%) while only 6 (2.4%) of respondent knew probiotics have therapeutic benefits for IC. There were no correlation between knowledge on IC and occupation and or duration of practice (p = 0.942).
Conclusions: There is low level of knowledge and inappropriate practice on infantile colic amongst the healthcare workers in the highlands of Jos, North-Central Nigeria. There are compelling needs to create awareness on IC among healthcare workers in Plateau State.
Keywords: Infantile colic, knowledge, infant and probiotic.