Exploring the health beliefs and care seeking behaviour of the elderly: the Case of Ikondo Ward, Muteba District. Tanzania

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University of Dar es Salaam,
This study was conducted with the purpose of exploring the health belief and care seeking behaviour of the olderly people in Ikondo ward, Muleba dining Tanzania, The specific objectives/activities carried out during the study were; investigation of (lie decision making process of (he elderly people and exploration of social and cultural factors influencing health care seeking behaviour of lie elderly. In order m answer the specific objective, the study designed the conceptual framework based on the existing theories and models on health care seeking behaviour. It then employed sequential methodology research design in which qualitative exploration was followed by quantitative methods, The methods used to collect data from the field included: In-depth Interviews, Focus Group Discussions and the Survey method. After qualitative data analysis which was followed by quantitative data analysis, the findings indicated that decision making process of the elderly people is based on the assessment of the perceived symptoms and the available treatment options. There were clear patterns that the elderly people follow when illness arises. The study also found out that both social and cultural factors influence health care seeking behaviour among the elderly people of Ikondo ward in Mulcba district. The said social and cultural factors include: social network, family income, health beliefs and health-related-knowledge, attitudes towards health and treatment, maintenance of traditional health care regime (self-practices), and the perception towards the cause of illness. The quantitative results confirmed and complemented the results obtained in the qualitative approach. For instance, the chi-square test between the person one relies on for support/help during illness was highly associated with the decision of taking treatment during illness (p=0.001), The study concludes that, “health-care-seeking behaviour” is a complex phenomenon in which a lot of’ factors play part and can rarely be translated into a simple one of choice or act, or be explained by a single model/theory of health care seeking behaviour. Health care seeking behaviour is thus, not an individual phenomenon but the product of negotiations between the sick person and people around them. The study recommended the inclusion of social and cultural aspects in future studies and interventions geared at supporting the elderly people.
Available in print form, East Africana Collection, Dr. Wilbert Chagula Library, Class mark (THS EAF HV1487.T34M87)
Aged, Health care services, Medical care, Ikondo ward, Muleba district, Tanzania
Mutebi, S (2012), Exploring the health beliefs and care seeking behaviour of the elderly: the Case of Ikondo Ward, Muteba District. Tanzania,Master dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam. Dar es Salaam