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Objectives: This study aimed to investigate parental attitude towards psychotropic drugs’ use for children’s mental disorders. Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted from December 2020 to March 2021 at the Department of Behavioural Medicine, Sultan Qaboos University Hospital, Muscat, Oman. A questionnaire was used to determine parents’ opinions and attitudes about use of psychotropic medications on their children and, in a small proportion, other caregivers if the child attended with them. Risk factors associated with parents who preferred to consult a folk healer (FH) for children with mental disorders were identified by the logistic regression model. Results: A total of 299 parents participating in the study (response rate: 95.2%). Most (n = 244, 81.6%) agreed to give their child psychotropic medications if necessary, but 25.4% (n = 76) would consult an FH before a psychiatrist. Married parents were 14.5 times (P = 0.011) more likely than separated or divorced parents to consult an FH. Caregivers with a monthly income below 500 OMR and between 500 and 1,000 OMR were 2.5 (P = 0.016) and 3.2 times (P <0.001), respectively, more likely than those with more than 1,000 OMR to consult an FH. Parents who disagreed with giving their children psychotropic medications were 3.8 times (P <0.001) more likely to consult an FH than parents who agreed to give them if necessary. Conclusion: Most parents agreed to give their children psychotropic medications if necessary. However, a proportion of parents and caregivers preferred to consult an FH before accessing mental health services.
Keywords: Attitude; Child; Parents; Psychotropic Drugs; Oman.
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