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Type Journal Article - International Journal of Collaborative Research on Internal Medicine & Public Health
Title Socio-demographic determinants of health care-seeking behaviour, self-reported illness and self-evaluated health status in Jamaica
Volume 1
Issue 4
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2009
Page numbers 101-130
URL http://www.iomcworld.com/ijcrimph/files/v01-n04-01.pdf
The objectives of this study were
to examine self-rated health
status and health care-seeking
behaviour of Jamaicans, and to ascertain the
socio-economic determinants of health care-
seeking behaviour as well as good health status
. To that end, a cross-sectional descriptive
study of 1,006 respondents who answered the ques
tion on health-seeking
behaviour was used,
and this was extracted from a larger nationally
representative probability sampling survey of
6,783 Jamaicans. Descriptive sta
tistics were used to provide background information on the
demographic characteristics of the sample, ch
i-square was used to examine correlation
between two non-metric variables,
and logistic regressions we
re employed to establish the
predictors of health care-seeking behaviour an
d good self-rated health
status. Of the sample,
40.5% was men and 59.5% women, with a m
ean age of 41.8 years (SD=27.6 years).
Forty-four percent of the sample reported at
least good health, 97% claimed that they have
had some form of dysfunction; 6% reported be
ing injured due to acci
dents, and only 11%
indicated that their illness was not diagnosed by
a health practitioner. Of those who indicated
being diagnosed with a recurring ailment,
5.6% had arthritis, 20.5% hypertension, 12.4%
diabetes mellitus, 9.5% asthma and 14.9% cold.
Only 65.4% of the sample sought health
care. In the multivariate analyses, health-care seeking behaviour of Jamaicans can be
explained by age of respondents (OR=1.031, 95%
CI=1.014, 1.049); area of residence (other
towns OR=0.5, 95%CI=0.278, 0.902); log co
nsumption (OR=3.605 95%CI=1.814, 7.167);
marital status (married OR=0.468 95%CI
=0.260, 0.843; divorced, separated or widowed,
OR=0.383, 95% CI 0.163, 0.903) and social cl
ass (Upper class OR=0.319, 95%CI=0.106,
0.958). The health status of those who seek h
ealth care can be predicted duration of the
individuals to carry out
their normal activities (O
R=0.594, 95%CI=0.413, 0.855); age of
respondents (OR=0.967, 95%CI=0.949, 0.986) and ar
ea of residence (urban area OR=2.415,
1.195, 4.881; other towns OR=2.514, 1.162, 5.442). Self-rate
d health status was found to be a
significant statistical predictor of self-repor
ted dysfunction - good self-rated health status
with reference to poor se
lf-rated health status
(OR=0.271, 95%CI=0.081, 0.915). This
relationship disappears when socio-demographi
c characteristics were included. The findings
of this study suggests that hea
lth service professionals need
to increase awareness about the
benefits of purchasing prescribed medication, a
nd that this must be more so for rural and
urban residents.

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