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Objectives: This study investigated parental attitudes towards psychotropic drugs for children's mental disorders. Methods: A questionnaire was distributed to parents of children attending a child psychiatry clinic at a tertiary hospital in Muscat, Oman. Similarly, in a small proportion, other caregivers filled out the questionnaire in case the child attended with them. The questionnaire comprised questions regarding parents' opinions, and attitudes about psychotropic medications use. The logistic regression model was used to identify the risk factors associated with parents who prefer to consult a folk healer (FH) for children with mental disorders. Results: A total of 299 parents agreed to participate in the study. The majority of them (81.6%, n=244) agreed that they would give their child psychotropic medications if necessary, but 25.4% of them (n=76) would consult a FH before consulting a psychiatrist if their child experienced psychiatric symptoms. Married parents were 14 times (OR=14.5, p=0.011) more likely to consult a FH than were separated or divorced parents. Caregivers with a monthly income below 500 OMR and between 500-1,000 OMR were two times (OR=2.5, p=0.016) and three times (OR=3.2, p<.001), respectively, more likely to consult a FH than those with a monthly income of more than 1,000 OMR. Parents who disagreed with giving psychotropic medications to their children were three times (OR=3.7, p<.001) more likely to consult a FH than were parents who agreed to give psychotropic medications to their children if necessary. Conclusion: Most parents agreed to give their children psychotropic medications if it were deemed necessary. However, a sizeable proportion of parents and caregivers preferred to consult a FH before accessing mental health services.

Keywords: Parents; Children; Attitudes; Psychotropic Drugs; Oman

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Al-Harthi, H., Al-Huseini, S., Al-Shukaili, M., Chan, M. F., Al-Mahrouqi, T., Al-Breiki, M., Al-Hosni, A., & Mirza, H. (2022). Parental Attitude towards the Prescription of Psychotropic Medications for Mental Disorders in Children in a Tertiary Care University Hospital in Oman. Sultan Qaboos University Medical Journal, 1(1).