School of Nursing and Midwifery, Pakistan; Medicine
Background: Hepatitis C infection is one of the significant causes of morbidity and mortality throughout the world. In Pakistan, hepatitis C infection rate is 4.8%, which is the second highest prevalence rate among all developing countries. This study aimed to identify the association between awareness about hepatitis C infection and pattern of health seeking behavior among patients living with hepatitis C in Karachi, Pakistan.
Methods: A descriptive, cross-sectional study was conducted among 250 hepatitis C patients who were recruited from the Aga Khan University Hospital and the Civil Hospital Karachi, Pakistan between March and May 2013. Data were collected through a modified questionnaire on ‘awareness about hepatitis C and patterns of health seeking behavior among hepatitis C patients’.
Results: We did not find any association between participants’ awareness of hepatitis C infection and their primary contact with a health care provider. However, this study found that only half of the study participants (52%) had correct knowledge of hepatitisC. The patterns of health seeking behavior showed that a majority of the study participants approached a medical doctor (n=368), followed by spiritual healers (n=206), and a few participants approached traditional healers (n=39) and homeopaths (n=11).
Conclusions: The study did not find any association between the patients’ level of awareness about hepatitis C infection and their primary contact with health careproviders. However, it has been found that patterns of health seeking behavior are strongly related to the patients’ cultural practices and beliefs, which affect their choiceof health care providers. This study has provided a basis for planning interventional studies aimed at improving patients’ level of awareness about hepatitis C and their health seeking behavior.
Journal of Public Health in Developing Countries
Ali, T. S.,
(2017). Association of awareness about hepatitis C infection with patterns of health seeking behavior among hepatitis C patients in Karachi, Pakistan. Journal of Public Health in Developing Countries, 3(2), 395-404.
Available at: http://ecommons.aku.edu/pakistan_fhs_son/287