Health seeking behaviour and its determinants among rural population- a cross sectional study in South India

Hemant Kumar, Sachidananda Kapinakadu, Manjula Anil


Background: Remedial action that a person takes to treat his or her perceived illnesses, is called health-seeking behaviour. Understanding health seeking behaviour (HSB) in a community and the factors which influence their decision, are crucial for planning a “need based” comprehensive health care programmes for the people, especially for underprovided and rural population. The objective of present study was to determine HSB and its determinants in a defined rural population.

Methods: A community based cross -sectional study was conducted in rural field practice area of A. J. Institute of Medical Sciences and Research Centre, Mangalore (Karnataka) from 1st October 2017 to 31st July 2018. A total of 866 heads of households were included in the study, using universal sampling method. A pre-tested, validated questionnaire was used to collect the data. p values of <0.05 were considered significant.

Results: Among 866 participants, almost all (98.03%) heads of families were males, while majority of them (35.68 %) were farmers. Further, majority (48.15%) of the households preferred to visit government hospitals for their ailments, while among those visiting private practitioners, majority of them (55.54%) preferred Allopath system of medicine. Health insurance subscription rates were found to be low (18.93%). Main determinants of HSB were observed to be cost of treatment, convenience of approach, quality of services and life threatening emergencies.

Conclusions:Present study brings out higher utilization of government health care facilities among the study subjects, while cost of treatment and life threatening emergencies were the main predictors of HSB. 



Health seeking behaviour, Determinants, Health insurance, Rural

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