affecting on Health Seeking Behavior and Utilization of Health Care Services
among Married Rural Dalit Women
wealth” is a popular saying in almost over the world. Imperatively the attitude
to pay attention to the health is often determined by health seeking behavior
particularly the encouraging and discouraging factors of people thought.
Therefore the present study tried to analyze the factors affecting on Health
Seeking Behavior of married Rural Dalit Women. The current study was carried
out in Tumkur rural district.
Descriptive research design was adopted to fulfill the framed
objectives. With the help of convenient sampling technique, 120 respondents
were selected as sample size. Self-structured questionnaire was adopted
followed by the personal interview. Both primary and secondary data was
collected. The collected primary data was computed by applying simple
statistical percentage analysis method. The study found low socio-economic
condition had significant impact on
health seeking behavior and health care access. Further the study also
found neglected attitude towards health were the major factors affecting health
seeking behavior among the rural Dalit women.
Health seeking behavior, Dalit women.
Women health status issues have been gained higher international
recognisation and renewed political commitment almost in all the countries of
the world in recent decades. The ongoing policies and programs have enables
women to lead healthier lives. Many socio –economic barriers also dispirit them
to search out services from the government, non-government and private health
care settings access necessary health care (UNICEF, 2009).
Health behavior are actions people take to be aware
of the health state to sustain an optimal state of health by preventing illness
and injury and reach their maximum physical and mental potential. Health
seeking behaviors are those acts people engage to be healthy. Women health
problem are ubiquitous in the country (Rahman, Md.Habibur, parveen,
& Giedraties, 2016)
women of India have been living in the culture of silence throughout the
centuries. They have remained mute expectators to their exploitation,
oppression and barbarity against them. They do not have any control over their
own bodies, earnings, and lives. The extreme expression of violence,
exploitation and oppression against them is visible in forms of hunger,
malnutrition, disease, physical and mental torture, rape; illiteracy,
ill-health, unemployment, insecurity and inhuman treatment. (Ghatak, 2011). It evidently
reflects the poor health status of the Dalit
women. Tanveer Ahmad Dar and R.
Saravanan (2015) have revealed that the health status and utilization
pattern of scheduled tribes gives an indication of their social exclusion as
well as an idea of their linkages between poverty and health. The study found
that, Dalits have poor level of awareness about their health
and health care system, even the communities and inhabitants. The major
impediment in the poor health condition
of the them was non-acceptance of professional doctors in their community. Though, disinclined
attitude to seek aid for health issues stayed significant problem among Dalits along with two other major
problems such as inaccessibility and unaffordable health care. The health
seeking behaviour of a community determines how they use health care services. Utilization
of health facilities can be influenced by the cost of services, distance to
health facilities, cultural beliefs, level of education and health facility
inadequacies such as stock-out of drugs (David,
Boyton, Butler, & Musoke, 2014). Thus their health
status depends on many factors. Hence it is important to understand the major
factors of health seeking behavior of the Dalit
community. Therefore the present study is strived to find out the factors
affecting on the health seeking behavior among the Dalits.
affecting health seeking behavior
Multifaceted of factors have been recognized as the
leading causes of poor health seeking behavior and utilization of health care
services such as poor socio-economic
status, lack of physical accessibility, cultural beliefs and perceptions, low
literacy level of the mothers and large family size. Review of the global
literature suggests that these factors can be classified as cultural beliefs,
socio-demographic status, women’s autonomy, economic conditions, physical and
financial accessibility, and disease pattern and health service issues (Babar &
This complexity is reflected in the
health seeking behaviour, including the use of home-prescriptions, delay in seeking
bio-medical treatment and non-compliance with treatment and with referral
advice. The attitude of the health provider and patient satisfaction with the
treatment play a role in health seeking behaviour. (Babar &
of the study
To study the socio-economic condition of
To analyze the factors affecting on
health seeking behavior and utilization of health care services among the rural
Dalit women in tumkur district.
The present study was carried out in tumkur rural
area among the Dalit women. The
objective of the study is to analyze the factors affecting on health seeking behavior
and utilization of health care services among the rural Dalit women in tumkur district. The study is based on
cross-sectional study. Purposive sampling techniques was used by adopting 120
respondents. Interview was followed
to collect the primary data. Data on general demographic and socio-economic
characteristics, health seeking behavior and utilization of health care services
was collected. Data was computed by analyzing the
simple statistical percentage method.
.No.1 Socio-Economic condition of the respondents
of the Husband
to 15 000
The above table indicating the respondents
socio-economic condition profile of the respondents specifically, age, marriage
at the age, Educatio qualification, occupation, and monthly income of the
Majority 58% of the respondents were aged between 21
to 40 years and rest 42 per cent of the respondents were aged to 41 years to
Among the 120 respondents 40% of the respondents
were married at the age of 19 to 25 years, 25% of the respondents were married
between the age group of 26 to 30 years. Followed 19% and 16 % of the
respondents were got married at the age of below 18 years and 30 to 35 years.
Around 59 % of the respondents were married between the age group of 18 to 25
Majority 45% of
the respondents were studies upto high
school, 27% of the respondents were
completed their primary education, 12 % of the respondents were done
pre-university college, 8% of the
respondents were educated up graduation
and rest 8% of the respondents were illiterate.
Majority 49% of the
respondents were housewife, 46% of the respondents were works has day laborer
in other farms, this was the major occupation for their livelihood. 2% of them were occupied with clerical work
and 3% of them were working in other type of work.
From the above
table it could be seen that, majority 68% of the respondents were receiving
Rs.4001 to 6000 as monthly income of the husband. 13% were drawing Rs.6001 to
8000, rest 7% of the respondents were receiving Rs.10000 to 15,000 as a monthly
income. It could understand that majority of the respondents were monthly
income starts form Rs.2001 to 8000. Most of the women were
works as day labour in other farms.
From the above table, it was found majority of the
respondents were young and middle age. It was also found that 19% of them were
married at below 18 years of age. Marriage before 18 years may affects on women
health by increased risk for sexually transmitted diseases, childbirth, and
obstetric fistulas etc,. Majority of them were finished high-school barely they
can able to read and write. Majority half of them were working whereas 49% of
them were home makers. Half of the respondents were earning Rs.4001 to 6000 as
their husbands monthly income. Overall the socio-economic condition of the
respondent s were average.
2. Behavior factors for Health seeking behavior
Health Consciousness/ Family health
about the health and illness
Low payment as doctor fee for health Check up at private
cost from public health settings
of access to government health care centers avoids health seeking behavior
dislikes to visit government hospital
to disclose the disease
From the above table section gives detail of the
behavior of the 120 respondents. Further
the table depicts the behavioral factors
which makes the respondents to seek
health care, particularly on health
consciousness, knowledge about the health and illness, family health conscious,
low payment as doctor fee for health check up at private hospital/clinic and
affordable cost from public health settings etc.,
Majority 56 per cent of the respondents were
strongly agreed that their health consciousness influence them to seek health
care facility. 8 per cent of the respondents were disagreed, 7 per cent of them
neither agreed nor disagreed and 2 per cent of them were disagreed to it.
Among the 120 respondents respectively 25 per cent
and 25 per cent of the respondents were equally agreed and stayed neutral to
the statement of knowledge about the health and illness influences them to seek
health care, 31 per cent of them were strongly disagreed, 18 per cent of them
were strongly agreed, rest 1% of the them were strongly disagreed.
Majority 40 per cent of them were strongly agreed that, low payment as doctor
fee for health check up at private clinic influencing them to seek health care. Followed 27% , 31% and 2% of
them were respectively agreed, neither agreed nor disagreed, and disagreed to
Majority 59 per cent of them were agreed, 29% of the respondents were agreed
nor disagreed, remaining 8% and 4% percent of them were disagreed that,
affordable cost of public health settings also plays vital role in influencing
the women to seek health care.
Majority i.e, 67% of the respondents strongly agreed
that, lack of access to government health care centers in near the area
prevents them to seek health care. 14% of them were agreed and 12% of the
respondents neither agreed nor disagreed remaining 7% of them were disagreed to it.
It was also significantly noted that, 43% of the
respondents were strongly agreed that they had personal dislikes to visit
government hospitals, 26% of them also agreed and 21% of them were neutral only
10% of them were disagreed to it. People
belief status on government hospital treatment is not good. They suspect the
The table imperative states that, majority 61% of
the respondents were hesitate to access health care because of shyness attitude
towards disclosing the disease. 11% of them were opined agree, 12% of them were
stayed neutral and rest 16% of them were disagreed to it. Majority of them do
not like to disclose the disease and scare to know their health status
Majority i.e 73% of them strongly agreed they depend
on other to take them to hospital, 11% of them were agreed, 16% of them neutral
11% of them were disagreed to it. As per the respondents opinion most the women
were depends on other family members aid to visit hospital, they scared about
the hospital admission and diagnostic procedures and expects the presence of one of their family member with them
From the above analysis it was found that, health
conscious significantly influence them to seek health care and its
utilization, specifically low doctoral fee at private clinic, health
conscious of selves/family, knowledge about the health and illness, affordable
cost in the public health settings are the motivational behavior factors for health seeking behavior. Factors such as
personal dislikes to visit government hospital, shyness to disclose the disease,
dependency on others to take them to hospital and majorly lack of access to
government health care canters avoids health seeking behavior among them.
Utilization of Health care among the respondents during ill health
Health facility at primary health center
facility at private doctors
treatment with local herbs
From the above table it manifests the utilization of
health care services among the respondents during the period of ill health. Majority
67% of the respondents were opined sometimes they use health facility at
primary health center, 22% of them were always and only 11% of them were rarely
utilizes the primary health centers. It
was orally omitted by the respondents that, they can not find the doctor in all
the days, they have prejudiced about the government hospitals. Majority 76% of
the respondents were always used to take pharmacy drug during ill health.
Followed 13% and 11% of them were sometimes and rarely go for pharmacy drug.
Majority 62% of the respondents were
sometimes go for traditional healer, rest 29% and 9% of them visit to
traditional healer always and rare. 44% of the respondents were always takes
self treatment with local herbs for minor disease,
of the study
The main limitation of this study is that the
findings are limited in terms of generalization and impact since it was a study
conducted in one rural community. There may also have been recall bias when
responding to some of the questions asked. Nevertheless, the data provides
useful information on the health seeking behavior and challenges in utilizing
health facilities in rural communities in Tumkur Rural district.
The study found health seeking behavior and health
conscious among the Dalit community is
very poor. Changing health seeking behavior and promoting increased usage of
health care services, among Dalit
community is also reflected in National family Health survey report 3 and 4.
Several studies also reveal the poverty and neglected behavior of health were
the main obstacles for poor health status. Series of social work intervention
may bring change in the behavior and ensure to utilize the proper health care
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