Health seeking behaviour among Igbo women with gynaecological complaints
Determining the Health seeking behaviour of a community is necessary to identify areas of delay, miscoceptions and therefore plan for effective
Objective: To determine the health seeking behaviour of women presenting with gynaecological complaints
Study design /setting: A prospective cross sectional study involving women who presented with selected gynaecological complaints over a 2-
year period at Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital Nnewi, Nigeria.
Subjects and methods: All women who presented with common gynaecological complaints and consented to the study were interviewed with semi-structured questionnaire. Information obtained were biodata and the places or modalities of treatment accessed before presentation.
Result: Most of the patients (51.9%) were in the 3rd decade of life and majority of them were nulliparous (61.7%) and married (56.8%). Among
the 920 women studied, 680(73.9%) of them had received treatment else where before presenting at our hospital. Herbal home (34.5%) was the
major place of treatment outside a formal health institution. Other places visited for treatment were pharmacy stores (18.0%), prayer houses
(7.8%) and the medical laboratories (6.5%). 19.9% of the patients indulged in self medication with drugs obtained from the chemist stores.
Only 9.5% visited a hospital for treatment before presenting to us.
With respect to preferences for treatment, most patients with infertility visited the herbal homes (48.7%) while the majority of patients with
vaginal discharge (78.5%) and dysmenorrhea (70.2%) indulge in self medication. The majority of patients with post menopausal bleeding
(65.1%) and irregular menstruation (72.9%) presented to us without visiting any other place bfore the presentation.