"We Start", Early Intervention Program, is Required for Children in Poverty Residing in South Korea

Wednesday, 15 July 2009: 2:25 PM

Kyung-Sook Bang, PhD, RN
College of Nursing, Ajou University, Suwon, South Korea

Learning Objective 1: identify the impact of poverty on the children's health in Korea.

Learning Objective 2: understand the necessity of nurses' involvement for child rearing in poverty group.

Purpose: This study was performed to investigate the differences in the levels of a child's general health status and child rearing status between households of average income and poverty-level income to develop an early intervention program-We Start program-for poor children in Korea.

Methods: The population of low socioeconomic status was selected from 3 cities. Data from 186 households having infants or preschoolers of poverty-level income, and 118 households in the general status population of the same district were analyzed using the χ2-test and t-test with SPSS Win program.

Results: Children under 2 years of age from poverty-level households showed more health-related problems such as hospital admission (p=.054), congenital disease (p=.068), and pre-term (p=.087) than those of the average group. Also children from the same group 2-6 showed more developmental delays (p=.048), allergies (p=.072), dental problems (p=.001), and emotional problems (p=.078). There was a significant difference between incomes groups in the mother's child health management. The former group's ratio of prenatal check-up (p=.004) and homemade baby food made (p=.006) were lower than the latter group.

Conclusion: These results suggest that children in low socioeconomic status are likely to have more health problems and health risks. According to these findings, it seems that the involvement of health professionals in the low socioeconomic group would be beneficial. This research can assist future healthcare planning and the target interventions for the health of children in poverty.