Public Health and Preventive Medicine
Articles Information
Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Vol.7, No.2, Jun. 2021, Pub. Date: Aug. 30, 2021
A Study on Prevalence of Self-ear Cleaning Habit: The Risk of Injury and Associated Symptoms Among Undergraduate Medical Students
Pages: 30-46 Views: 211 Downloads: 51
[01] Arshad Hassen Mohamed, Faculty of Medicine, Manipal University College Malaysia (MUCM), Manipal Academy of Higher Education (MAHE), Melaka, Malaysia.
[02] Chew Hai Tang, Faculty of Medicine, Manipal University College Malaysia (MUCM), Manipal Academy of Higher Education (MAHE), Melaka, Malaysia.
[03] Sarvin Nambiar Mohan, Faculty of Medicine, Manipal University College Malaysia (MUCM), Manipal Academy of Higher Education (MAHE), Melaka, Malaysia.
[04] Aisha Binti Zamani, Faculty of Medicine, Manipal University College Malaysia (MUCM), Manipal Academy of Higher Education (MAHE), Melaka, Malaysia.
Cerumen (earwax) is a substance that provides a protective mechanism to the ear against infection and is also a defense mechanism that acts against substances such as water as well as organisms like insects. There is widespread belief that this earwax is unhygienic, and many people practice the habits of self-ear cleaning in the misguided belief that it maintains ear hygiene. This cross-sectional study aims to determine the prevalence of self-ear cleaning habit among undergraduate medical students in Manipal University College Malaysia, as well as the associated risks and related symptoms. An online questionnaire was distributed, and 144 responses were collected in total. Statistical analysis was done using Epi Info version The findings of the data revealed that 80.7% of students practiced self-ear cleaning. However, there was differing levels of knowledge on the dangers of self-ear cleaning with 84.42% of those who practiced self-ear cleaning having good knowledge on the dangers of self-ear cleaning and just 15.58% of the students who did not practice self-ear cleaning having good knowledge about the dangers of self-ear cleaning. With the result obtained, there is a high percentage (94.3%) in the level of awareness on danger associated with self-ear cleaning. Nevertheless, students still perceive self-ear cleaning as beneficial (47.14%). This study shows that there was a significant positive association between student’s beneficial perception with respect to self-ear cleaning practices (95% CI for OR 1.7-52.8; P-value: 0.003). Besides that, there was positive but insignificant association between knowledge and practice (95% CI for OR 0.73-3.94; P-value: 0.220). Furthermore, sociodemographic factors and self-ear cleaning practices were found to be statistically insignificant. There was no significance between sociodemographic factors and knowledge. In summary, our study revealed that majority of the students practice self-ear cleaning. Despite those who perceive it as harmful/not beneficial, the number of students from this group still practicing self-ear cleaning irrespective of their awareness shows the fact that personal hygiene is one of the main factors to practicing self-ear cleaning along with knowledge and perception towards self-ear cleaning. Hence, we recommend raising awareness on discouraging self-ear cleaning practice due to many harmful risks which may lead to ear damage.
Knowledge, Practice, Perception, Awareness, Self-ear Cleaning, Undergraduate Students
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