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Hygienic Habits and Living Conditions of Romani Population in the

Sisak-Moslavina County


1 Snježana Galić Lukšić

2 Goran Lapat

3 Jelena Lučan

1 General Hospital Sisak, Department of Pediatrics, Sisak, Croatia

2 Faculty of Teacher Education, University of Zagreb, Zagreb, Croatia

3 Viktorovac High School, Sisak, Croatia



Author for correspondence:

Jelena Lučan Viktorovac High School

Aleja narodnih heroja 1, Sisak, Croatia E-mail:


Keywords: hygiene habits, children’s respiratory diseases, Romani population





Aim. To establish the degree of consciousness of the importance of hygiene among the Romani popula- tion in the Sisak-Moslavina County and to examine whether there are differences in children’s health care of non-Romani population considering the num- ber of hospitalized Romani children in general and especially regarding respiratory diseases.

Methods. The study was conducted on 100 parents of hospitalized children, 50 of them being members of the Romani population and 50 being members of non-Romani population. It was done by means of a questionnaire specially designed for this study. The categorical data is represented by the absolute and relative frequencies, while the numerical data is de- scribed with the median and the limits of the inter- quartile span. Categorical variable differences were tested using Fisher’s exact test. The normality of numerical variable distribution was tested using the Shapiro-Wilk test. The differences in numerical vari- ables between two independent groups were tested using the Mann-Whitney U test.

Results. The results show that due to respiratory diseases a significantly large number of Romani chil- dren (43%) were hospitalized once in six months. Fewer children of Romani research subjects who have indoor plumbing were hospitalized. Romani families tend to visit a doctor when a child is injured or for a regular check-up rather than to seek a doctor’s ad- vice. In non-Romani families, children tend to shower every day, have their own towel and better personal hygiene habits than children of Romani families. The results clearly show hygiene habits differ greatly be- tween Romani and non-Romani families. Neglecting their children’s personal hygiene habits in Romani families points to a problem of insufficient education of the parents.

Conclusion. The obtained results point to the impor- tance of constant encouragement and education of Romani family members, as well as the members of non-Romani families, in order for them to realize the significance of hygiene and personal hygiene habits.