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JOURNAL

Health Services Insights

Urban–Rural Differences in Health-Care-Seeking Pattern of Residents of Abia State, Nigeria, and the Implication in the Control of NCDs

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Health Services Insights 2016:9 29-36

Original Research

Published on 05 Oct 2016

DOI: 10.4137/HSI.S31865


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Abstract

Background: Understanding the differences in care-seeking pattern is key in designing interventions aimed at improving health-care service delivery, including prevention and control of noncommunicable diseases. The aim of this study was to identify the differences and determinants of care-seeking patterns of urban and rural residents in Abia State in southeast Nigeria.

Methods: This was a cross-sectional, community-based, study involving 2999 respondents aged 18 years and above. Data were collected using the modified World Health Organization’s STEPS questionnaire, including data on care seeking following the onset of illness. Descriptive statistics and logistic regressions were used to analyze care-seeking behavior and to identify differences among those seeking care in urban and rural areas.

Results: In both urban and rural areas, patent medicine vendors (73.0%) were the most common sources of primary care following the onset of illness, while only 20.0% of the participants used formal care. Significant predictors of difference in care-seeking practices between residents in urban and rural communities were educational status, income, occupation, and body mass index.

Conclusions: Efforts should be made to reduce barriers to formal health-care service utilization in the state by increasing health insurance coverage, strengthening the health-care system, and increasing the role of patent medicine vendors in the formal health-care delivery system.



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