AIM/BACKGROUND: The purpose of this research is to determine the knowledge of nurses and midwives who are working at primary health care services.
METHODS: The information regarding the research has been given to the nurses and midwives working at primary health centers of Manisa, and 70 nurses and midwives have accepted to attend the research. In collecting the data, two questionnaire forms prepared by the researchers have been used and these forms are composed of two parts. In the first part of the questionnaire, there are questions about the sociodemografhic characteristics of midwives and nurses; in the second one the questions are related to the symptoms and causes of mental-handicap and the attempts regarding the mentally-handicapped child and his family.
RESULTS: The nurses and midwives have stated that the most important cause of mental handicap is marriages among relatives (92.9%). and that in a situation of not being able to fullfill mental motor skills in relation to age, they suspect mental handicap (90%). They have also stated that they mostly have or can have difficulty in communucating with the mentally-handicapped child (64%).
CONCLUSION: As a result, the nurses and midwives have adequate knowledge about the causes and symptoms of mental handicap. On the other hand, their knowledge regarding the services to be planned in care of mentally-handicapped children is limited. At the primary health care services, educational studies can be planned in order to give better health service for mentally-handicapped individuals.
Mentally handicapped child, primary health care services, midwife and nurse.