A comparative study on health seeking behaviour of parents towards their child’s illness in rural and urban field practice area of a medical college

Kalyan Chakravarthy Burra, Chandrashekhar Varaprasadrao Dimmala


Background: The attitude of parents towards their children’s health and illness is an important factor with regards to child’s overall development. In most developing countries, the health of the children is strongly dependent on parental healthcare behavior. This current study mainly looks into these aspects.

Methods: A community based cross sectional study involving urban and rural area field practice areas of a medical college in the study period of November 2016-January 2017 with a sample size of 100 families each having children in urban and rural areas have been fixed purposively. House to house survey done by simple random method using pretested semi structured interview schedules.

Results: Around 55% of rural parents took treatment from RMP (quacks) with 55% of urban counterparts opting for wait and watch method. Only 8% of respondents from both areas too their children to a pediatrician. About 12% of urban area went to government hospital and none from rural utilized government hospital facilities.

Conclusions: Large proportions of respondents did not seek appropriate medical care for childhood illnesses.



Parent, Health seeking behaviour, Children, Urban and rural, Self-medication, Quacks

Full Text:



MB Sudharsanam, SB Rotti. Factors determining health seeking behaviour for sick children in a Fishermen Community in Pondicherry. Indian J Community Med. 2007;32(1):71-2.

Deshmukh P, Dongre AR, Sinha N, Garg BS. Acute

childhood morbidities in rural Wardha: Some epidemiological correlates and health care seeking. Indian J Med Sci. 2009;63(8):345-54.

Jeet G, Sharma A, Mohanta TG, Trakroo A. Health seeking behavior of the mother for the special care new-born units discharged child: a comparative study. Indian J Public Health 2013;57(2):113-6.

Minhas A, Chander V, Sharma S, Bansal P. Health care seeking behavior of parents of under five in District Kanga, Himachal Pradesh. Int J Community Med Public Health 2018;5(2):561-8.

National Family Health Survey-4. Fact sheet: Andhra Pradesh, 2015-16. Available at Pradesh.pdf. Accessed 30 April 2019.

Dongre AR, Deshmukh PR, Garg BS. Childhood morbidity, household practices and health care seeking for sick children in a tribal district of Maharashtra, India. Indian J Med Sci. 2010;64(1):7-16.

Kaushik PV, Singh JV, Bhatnagar M, Garg SK, Chopra H. Nutritional correlates of acute respiratory infections. Indian J Matern Child Health. 1995;6(3):71-2.

Ray SK, Haldar A, Biswas B, Misra R, Kumar S. Epidemiology of undernutrition. Indian J Pediatr. 2001;68(11):1025-30.

Mandlik MD, Haralkar SJ, Mulaje SM, Mangulikar SK. Study of health-care seeking behavior of parents for child health problems in an urban slum area of Solapur. Int J Med Sci Public Health. 2017;6(10):1503-8.

Chandrasekhar TS, Ravi PS, Binu VS, Sonu HS, Hari SJ, Ramachandran U. Care Seeking behavior for childhood illness-a questionnaire survey in Western Nepal. BMC International Health & Human rights. 2006;6:7.

Chandwani H, Pandor J. Healthcare-Seeking behaviors of mothers regarding their children in a Tribal Community of Gujarat. Electronic Physician. 2015;7(1):990-7.

Sreeramareddy CT, Sathyanarayana TN, Kumar HNH. Utilization of health care services for childhood morbidity and associated factors in India: A National Cross-Sectional Household Survey. PLoS ONE. 2012;7(12):e51904.