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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 8  |  Page : 4118-4126

Qualitative analysis of the perception of street dog bite victims and implication for the prevention of dog bites at a teaching hospital anti-rabies Clinic

1 Department of Community Medicine, Government Medical College, Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir, India
2 Department of Anatomy, Government Medical College, Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Sheikh Mohd Saleem
Demonstrator, Department of Community Medicine, Government Medical College, Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir, - 190 010
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jfmpc.jfmpc_522_20

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Background: Aggression among the dogs has been stated as the most common cause of their biting nature by many dog experts. Most of the dog experts' opinion that many of the dog's bites are preventable. Objectives of the Study: Explore the victim's perception regarding dog bite, its circumstances and events that led to the bite and prevention of future bites by dogs. Methodology: This study involved one-to-one detailed interviews of dog bite victims to tell their tale and allowed the interviewer to ask questions related to all the circumstances that led to the bite. We included adults aged >20 years living in the Srinagar city who had been bitten by the street dog within last 24 h. Qualitative research protocol was adapted to conduct the study. Results: The perception of the victims vary from person to person which makes it difficult for public health practitioners to formulate standardized prevention tools. In our study, the participants had different perceptions regarding what constitute a dog bite. Some discussed a skin contact with piercing and oozing of blood as a dog bite while other perceived a simple jumping of dog over them. Some blamed the society; some blamed the dog; whereas some blamed themselves for the incident. Most of the participants never perceived that they will be bitten by the dog, so they did not use any strategies to prevent themselves. Reaction to the bite and the perception of responsibility and preventability appeared to be more related to the individual experiences of the victim and their belief about dogs in particular, than the actual circumstances which led to the bite and how preventable a bite could have been. Conclusion: Our findings suggest that the apparent instantaneous nature of bites and recognized psychological barriers to being receptive to educational intervention may mean bites are not as easily preventable as previously assumed.

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