Caregiver knowledge, attitudes and practices regarding vitamin A intake by Dominican children

Jordan P. Mills, Timothy A. Mills, Marla Reicks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Vitamin A deficiency (VAD) is a major concern in the Dominican Republic. Successful educational interventions are based on needs assessment data specific to the population for which behavioural change is desired. The purpose of this study was to establish a foundation for nutrition education efforts for caregivers of young children to prevent VAD in the Dominican Republic. A cross-sectional survey was administered to caregivers (N = 151) from rural/peri-urban villages in five provinces to assess vitamin A knowledge and attitudes, frequency of consumption of foods rich in vitamin A by an index child (age range 3-9 years), and food-related practices contributing to vitamin A intake. Caregiver knowledge regarding vitamin A was low in all villages regardless of differences in socio-economic status and level of education. A majority of the caregivers (67%) reported having a garden, but produce from the garden was thought mainly to provide a financial benefit vs. a nutritional benefit for the family. Several vegetables rich in vitamin A used as seasoning, mango, and unripe banana and plantain were commonly consumed by children as reported by caregivers. Educational interventions should focus on basic vitamin A knowledge regarding sources as well as symptoms of deficiency. Education should also emphasize increasing the variety of foods rich in provitamin A carotenoids grown in home gardens.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)58-68
Number of pages11
JournalMaternal and Child Nutrition
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2007


  • Caregivers
  • Children
  • Dominican Republic
  • Nutrition education
  • Vitamin A


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