Abstract of Dissertation

Keyword : Health Seeking Behavior, Antibiotics, Informal Provider

Objective : 1) To determine the variation in HSB with respect to gender and age group of people. 2) To determine the factors responsible for choosing a health care provider/facilities/ services. 3) To calculate the out- of-pocket expenditure on health of the selected household over the study period. 4) To calculate the quantity of antibiotic prescribed by the providers to the selected cohort over the study period.

Background : Health Seeking Behavior (HSB) is an impotent aspect, whose deep understanding is very much needed to design any health policy or services for the community. The healthcare services should reach to every nook and corner of this country. To achieve this, the supply of services should be demand driven, which needs comprehensive study to understand the HSB of community.

Methodology : An exploratory and descriptive follow up study was carried out for a period of six months with a selected sample of 86 households distributed across four rural villages of Ujjain District, Madhya Pradesh. All the members of the household were followed for the study period and any non- chronic illness and the response to that illness was recorded through a detailed structured questionnaire. The Study was nested under an ongoing larger project.

Findings : It was found that the HSB of the Community has compliance with the Health Belief Model. About 90 percent of the illnesses were common cold, cough and fever. Among the 85 Percent of cases where treatment was taken, 24 percent out of it have taken treatment by self-medication and 70 percent from informal provider and only two percent availed the public health care services. Further, the choice of treatment was largely determined by accessibility, perception of community towards the provider/ facility and severity of disease. Other than this, high out of pocket expenditure and high use of antibiotics was found. The gap left by inadequate public healthcare services has created a wrong perception in the mind of community towards government health facilities. This has also given an undue advantage to the informal healthcare market to flourish in rural areas. The rural people face genuine problems like difficult accessibility and loss of daily wage and time in the process of availing good treatment.