Nigerian Medical Practitioner

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Health care seeking behaviour in a semi-urban community in south-western, Nigeria: a qualitative study

T.I. Runsewe-Abiodun, A Alabi, B Adefuye, K.K. Ogunnowo


The place for seeking health care has been associated with risk of morbidity and mortality. Hence, this study aimed at describing the preferences for choice of health care within a semi-urban community. This was a cross sectional descriptive qualitative study that consisted of 15 FGDs. in Ikenne Local government Area. The Focus Group discussion was done by phenomenology. The analysis was by the use of systematic thematic process. Out of the selected 270 participants, 139 (51.5%) responded. The age range of the participants was 10-49 years, mean age was 24.2 ± 8.08 years, median was 23.0 Years.The majority of the discussants in the three groups would seek for health care first in Chemists. Major reasons given for their choice included the fact that it removes the long waiting time in the hospital, hospital visits are expensive and the carefree attitude of hospital staff. Majority will only go to hospitals when their sickness is severe or after the drugs from chemists have failed. Reasons for preference of private and government hospitals were given. This study highlighted the basis for which members of this community choose the place to seek health care with variations among the groups. Out of pocket expenditure on health should be reduced through encouragement of members of the community to embrace the National Health Insurance Scheme.

Keywords: Qualitative study, health care seeking behaviour, semi-urban

AJOL African Journals Online