Meta-Analysis on the Effect of Probiotics on Reducing Diarrhea Episode in Children Under Five

Purwika Widayati1), Setyo Sri Rahardjo2), Vitri Widyaningsih2)


1)Masters Program in Public Health, Universitas Sebelas Maret

2)Faculty of Medicine, Universitas Sebelas Maret



Background:  Probiotics are  sources of “good” bacteria that work  in the intestinal tract to create a healthy gut environment. It plays an important role in protecting intes- tines against infection. Many strains of probiotic microorganisms have been shown to inhibit growth and metabolic activity as well as the adhesion to intestinal cells of enteropathogenic bacteria. The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of probiotics on reducing diarrhea episode in children under five.

Subjects  and  Method:  This was a meta-analysis study conducted by selecting published articles years 2000-2019, from PubMed, Science Direct, and Springer Link databases. The inclusion criteria were randomized controlled trial (RCT) conducted in developed countries. A sample of 525 children was selected and divided into two groups (266 children receiving probiotics and 259 children receiving placebo). The data were analyzed by PRISMA systematic guideline. Mean difference and heterogenity were pooled and summarized by RevMan 5.3 program.

Results: There was high heterogenity between experiment groups (I2= 94%; p<0.001), therefore  this  study  used  random  effects  model  (REM).  Probiotic  administration reduced diarrhea episode 0.99 days shorter than placebo (Mean= -0.99; 95% CI= -1.98 to -0.01; p= 0.005).

Conclusion: Probiotics are effective to reduce diarrhea episode.

Keywords: diarrhea, probiotics, children under five, meta-analysis

Correspondence: Purwika Widayati. Masters Program in Public Health, Universitas Sebelas Maret. Jl. Ir. Sutami 36A, Surakarta 57126, Central Java. Email: Mobile: +6281231153131.


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