Abstract:”Health iswealth” is a popular saying in almost over the world.
Imperatively the attitudeto pay attention to the health is often determined by health seeking behaviorparticularly the encouraging and discouraging factors of people thought.Therefore the present study tried to analyze the factors affecting on HealthSeeking Behavior of married Rural Dalit Women. The current study was carriedout in Tumkur rural district. Descriptive research design was adopted to fulfill the framedobjectives. With the help of convenient sampling technique, 120 respondentswere selected as sample size.
Self-structured questionnaire was adoptedfollowed by the personal interview. Both primary and secondary data wascollected. The collected primary data was computed by applying simplestatistical percentage analysis method. The study found that low socio-economiccondition had significant impact on health seeking behavior and health care access.
Further the study alsofound that neglected attitude towards health were the major factors affectinghealth seeking behavior among the rural Dalit women.KeyWords: Health,Health seeking behavior, Dalit women. Introduction:Women health status issues havebeen gained higher recognisation and renewed political commitment almost in allthe countries of the world in recent decades. The ongoing policies and programshave enables women to lead healthier lives. Many socio –economic barriers also dispiritthem to search out services from the government, non-government and privatehealth care settings access necessary health care (UNICEF, 2009).
Health behavior are actions, peopletake to be aware of the health state to sustain an optimal state of health by preventingillness and injury and reach their maximum physical and mental potential. Healthseeking behaviors are those acts people engage to be healthy. Women healthproblem are ubiquitous in the country (Rahman, Md.
Habibur, Parveen, & Giedraties, 2016) Dalitwomen of India have been living in the culture of silence throughout thecenturies. They have remained mute expectators to their exploitation,oppression and barbarity against them. They do not have any control over theirown 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 evidentlyreflects the poor health status of the Dalitwomen. Tanveer Ahmad Dar and R. Saravanan (2015) have revealed that the healthstatus and utilization pattern of scheduled tribes gives an indication of theirsocial exclusion as well as an idea of their linkages between poverty andhealth.
The study found that, Dalits have poor level of awareness about their healthand health care system, even the communities and inhabitants. The major impedimentin the poor health condition of the them was non-acceptance of professional doctorsin their community. Though, disinclined attitude to seek aid for health issuesstayed significant problem among Dalitsalong with two other major problems such as inaccessibility and unaffordablehealth care. The health seeking behaviour of a community determines how theyuse health care services. Utilization of health facilities can be influenced bythe cost of services, distance to health facilities, cultural beliefs, level ofeducation and health facility inadequacies such as stock-out of drugs (David, Boyton, Butler, & Musoke, 2014). Thus their healthstatus depends on many factors.
Hence it is important to understand the majorfactors of health seeking behavior of the Dalitcommunity. Therefore the present study is strived to find out the factorsaffecting on the health seeking behavior among the Dalits.Factorsaffecting health seeking behaviorMultifaceted of factors have beenrecognized as the leading causes of poor health seeking behavior andutilization of health care services such as poor socio-economic status, lack of physical accessibility, culturalbeliefs and perceptions, low literacy level of the mothers and large familysize. Review of the global literature suggests that these factors can beclassified as cultural beliefs, socio-demographic status, women’s autonomy,economic conditions, physical and financial accessibility, and disease patternand health service issues (Babar & Hatcher, 2004). This complexity isreflected in the health seeking behavior, including the use ofhome-prescriptions, delay in seeking bio-medical treatment and non-compliancewith treatment and with referral advice. The attitude of the health providerand patient satisfaction with the treatment play a role in health seeking behavior.(Babar & Hatcher, 2004). Thus the followingobjectives were framed.
Objectivesof the study· To study the socio-economic condition ofthe respondents· To analyze the factors affecting onhealth seeking behavior and utilization of health care services among the ruralDalit women in Tumkur district.MethodologyThe present study was carried outin Tumkur rural area among the Dalitwomen. The objective of the study is to analyze the factors affecting on healthseeking behavior and utilization of health care services among the rural Dalit women in Tumkur district. Thestudy is based on cross-sectional study involved 120 respondents. Interview method was followed to collectthe primary data. Data on general socio-economic characteristics, healthseeking behavior and utilization of health care services were drawn from theprimary data collection. Analysis was done by applying simple statisticalmethod.Limitationof the studyThe main limitation of this studyis that the findings are limited in terms of generalization and impact since itwas a study conducted in one rural community.
There may also have been recallbias when responding to some of the questions asked. Nevertheless, the dataprovides useful information on the health seeking behavior and challenges inutilizing health facilities in rural communities in Tumkur Rural district.Resultsand conclusion Table.No.1 Socio-Economic condition of the respondents Sl.No Particulars Responses Percentage 1 Age 21 to 40 58 % 41 to above 42% 2 Marriage at the age Below 18 19% 19 to 25 40% 26 to 30 25% 30 to 35 16% 3 Education Qualification Illiterate 8% Primary 27% High school 45% Pre-University 12% Degree 8% 4 Occupation House wife 49% Clerical work 2% Day labour 46% Others 3% 5 Monthly income of the Husband 2001 to 4000 12% 4001 to 6000 68% 6001 to 8000 13% 10,000 to 15 000 7% The above table indicating therespondents socio-economic condition profile specifically, on age, marriage atthe age, Educational qualification, occupation, and monthly income of therespondents. Majority 58% of the respondents were aged between 21to 40 years and rest 42 per cent of the respondents were aged to 41 years toabove.
Among the 120 respondents 40% ofthe respondents were married at the age of 19 to 25 years, 25% of therespondents were married between the age group of 26 to 30 years. Followed 19%and 16 % of the respondents were marriedat the age of below 18 years and 30 to 35 years. Around 59 % of the respondentswere married between the age group of 18 to 25 years. Majority 45% of the respondents were studied upto high school, 27% of the respondents had completed their primaryeducation, 12 % of the respondents were finished pre-university college, 8% of the respondents were educated up to graduation and rest 8% of therespondents were illiterate.Majority49% of the respondents were housewife, 46% of the respondents were working asday laborer in other farms, this was the major occupation for theirlivelihood. 2% of them were occupiedwith clerical work and 3% of them were workingin other type of work.From the abovetable it could be seen that, majority 68% of the respondents were receivingRs.4001 to 6000 as monthly income of the husband.
13% were drawing Rs.6001 to8000, rest 7% of the respondents were receiving Rs.10000 to 15,000 as a monthlyincome.
It could understand that majority of the respondents monthly incomestarts form Rs.2001 to 8000. Most of the women were works as daylabour in other farms.From the above table, it was found majority of therespondents were young and middle age. It was also found that 19% of them weremarried at below 18 years of age. Marriage before 18 years may affects on womenhealth by increased risk for sexually transmitted diseases, childbirth, andobstetric fistulas etc,.
Majority of them were finished high-school barely theycan able to read and write. Majority half of them were working whereas 49% ofthem were home makers. Half of the respondents were earning Rs.4001 to 6000 astheir husbands monthly income. Overall the socio-economic conditions of therespondent s were average.Table2. Behavior factors for Health seekingbehavior Sl.
No Particulars Responses Strongly Agree Agree Neither agree nor Disagree Disagree Strongly disagree Total 1 Health Consciousness/ Family health consciousness 27% 56% 7% 8% 2% 100% 2 Knowledge about the health and illness 18% 25% 25% 31% 1% 100% 3 Low payment as doctor fee for health Check up at private 40% 27% 31% 2% 0% 100% 4 Affordable cost from public health settings 8% 59% 29% 4% 0% 100% 5 Lack of access to government health care centers avoids health seeking behavior 67% 14% 12% 7% 0% 100% 6 Personal dislikes to visit government hospital 43% 26% 21% 10% 0% 100% 7 Shyness to disclose the disease 61% 11% 12% 16% 0% 100% 8 Dependency on others 73% 11% 16% 11% 9% 100% From the above table section givesdetail of the behavior of the 120 respondents. Further the tabledepicts 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 asdoctor fee for health check up at private hospital/clinic and affordable cost frompublic health settings etc.,Majority 56 per cent of therespondents were strongly agreed that their health consciousness influence themto seek health care facility. 8 per cent of the respondents were disagreed, 7per cent of them neither agreed nor disagreed and 2 per cent of them weredisagreed to it. Among the 120 respondentsrespectively 25 per cent and 25 per cent of the respondents were equally agreedand stayed neutral to the statement of knowledge about the health and illnessinfluences them to seek health care, 31 per cent of them were stronglydisagreed, 18 per cent of them were strongly agreed, rest 1% of the them werestrongly disagreed. Majority 40 per cent of them were strongly agreed that, low payment as doctorfee for health check up at private clinic influencing them to seek health care. Followed 27% , 31% and 2% ofthem were respectively agreed, neither agreed nor disagreed, and disagreed toit.
Majority 59 per cent of themwere agreed, 29% of the respondents wereagreed nor disagreed, remaining 8% and 4% percent of them were disagreed that,affordable cost of public health settings also plays vital role in influencingthe women to seek health care.Majority i.e, 67% of therespondents strongly agreed that, lack of access to government health carecenters in near the area prevents them to seek health care. 14% of them wereagreed and 12% of the respondents neither agreed nor disagreed remaining 7%of them were disagreed to it.It was also significantly notedthat, 43% of the respondents were strongly agreed that they had personaldislikes to visit government hospitals, 26% of them also agreed and 21% of themwere neutral only 10% of them were disagreed to it. People belief status on government hospitaltreatment is not good. They suspect the treatment results.
The table imperative states that,majority 61% of the respondents were hesitate to access health care because ofshyness 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 theirhealth statusMajority i.e 73% of them strongly agreed they dependon other to take them to hospital, 11% of them were agreed, 16% of them neutral11% of them were disagreed to it. As per the respondents opinion most the womenwere depends on other family members aid to visit hospital, they scared aboutthe hospital admission and diagnostic procedures and expects the presence of one of their family member with themFrom the above analysis it was found that, healthconscious significantly influence them to seek health care and itsutilization, specifically low doctoral fee at private clinic, healthconscious of selves/family, knowledge about the health and illness, affordablecost in the public health settings are the motivational behavior factors for health seeking behavior. Factors such aspersonal dislikes to visit government hospital, shyness to disclose thedisease, dependency on others to take them to hospital and majorly lack ofaccess to government health care canters avoids health seeking behavior amongthem.
Table.3Utilization of Health care among the respondents during ill health Sl. No Particulars Responses Always Sometimes Rare Total 1 Used Health facility at primary health center 22% 67% 11% 100% 2 Health facility at private doctors 41% 42% 17% 100% 3 Used pharmacy drug 76% 13% 11% 100% 4 Used traditional healer 29% 62% 9% 100% 5 Self treatment with local herbs 44% 38% 18% 100% From the above table it manifeststhe utilization of health care services among the respondents during the periodof ill health. Majority 67% of the respondents were opined sometimes they usehealth 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 respondentsthat, they can not find the doctor in all the days, they have prejudiced aboutthe government hospitals. Majority 76% of the respondents were always used totake pharmacy drug during ill health. Followed 13% and 11% of them weresometimes and rarely go for pharmacy drug. Majority 62% of the respondentswere sometimes go for traditionalhealer, 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 forminor disease. In this study half ofthem were indulged in self-medicationwithout consulting the doctor.
It was found the traditional healer treatmentand self treatment with local herbs canbe dangerous to health. These people should be educated and madeunderstand that appropriate health care treatment is better for their health. Conclusion:The study found health seeking behavior and healthconscious among the Dalit community isvery poor. Changing health seeking behavior and promoting increased usage ofhealth care services, among Dalitcommunity is also reflected in National family Health survey report 3 and 4.Several studies also reveal the poverty and neglected behavior of health werethe main obstacles for poor health status. The married women were feel shy to disclose theirhealth problem this also hinder their health seeking behavior.
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