Annals of Ibadan Postgraduate Medicine

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Factors influencing health-seeking behaviour among civil servants in Ibadan, Nigeria

O.O. Latunji, O.O. Akinyemi


Background: Health-seeking behaviours (HSB) are closely linked with the health status of a nation and thus its economic development. Several studies have described HSB within the context of various diseases. However, knowledge of HSB among population sub-groups is still scanty. This study aims to determine factors most important to civil servants when seeking health care.

Methods: A descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted among 337 civil servants working in the Federal Secretariat, Ibadan, Nigeria. An interviewer administered semi-structured questionnaire was used to collect information. Chi-square tests were used to test for associations while binary logistic regression test was used for determining predictors. All data analysis were done at 5% level of significance.

Results: Members of the poorest quartile were 6 times more likely to have inappropriate HSB than the richest quartile (Q4:Q1= 5.83;O.R: 16.12, 95% C.I: 2.61-11.03). Visits to the hospital or clinic (62.2%) was the most common source of healthcare sought. This was followed by visits to the chemist (33.0%), traditional healers (4.3%). A little more than one-third (34.5%) of respondents considered good service delivery as the most important factor affecting HSB. This was followed by proximity (23.9%), affordability (20.4%), prompt attention (8.8%) and readily-available drugs (7.1%). Completing only basic education [O.R: 0.24 (0.06, 0.96)] and out of pocket payment [O.R: 0.04 (9.16, 82.45)] were associated with a reduction in the likelihood of seeking healthcare from formal sources.

Conclusion: Appropriate health-seeking behaviour was found to be high among civil servants. However, lower cadre workers and those with lower levels of education need to be targeted during policy formulation to improve healthseeking behaviour. In addition, health insurance schemes should be extended to cover more of the population in order to improve health-seeking behaviour.

Keywords: Health seeking behaviour, Civil servants, Healthcare provider, Service-based characteristics

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